MIDO is back, in person and in complete safety, at the Fiera Milano Rho venue from 12 to 14 February 2022. The event is set to be a must-do for the whole sector, both in terms of its role as a privileged observatory and as an international point of reference in the worlds of design, fashion, culture and business. MIDO is also a hub that reflects an entire industry, for reflection and rethinking about eyewear in all its aspects and details, a showcase for final users. As the next important edition approaches, we have interviewed some of the key players.
Today we give the floor to Nicola Zotta, President and e CEO of Marchon Inc.
About a year ago you entered into a partnership with Eastman to produce recycled acetate eyewear: how is the collaboration proceeding and what are the next steps in terms of sustainability?
Marchon has been committed for some time to identifying and incorporating new materials into our eyewear manufacturing process that are better for our planet. Lately, we have been working on a variety of products leveraging new, alternative materials for our eyewear brands, including Upcycled Plastic, Plant-Based Resin and Acetate Renew (from Eastman).
In Fall 2020, we announced that Marchon would be the first eyewear company to produce and sell frames using Acetate Renew from Eastman, a fully sustainable material produced via Eastman’s innovative carbon renewal technology. Acetate Renew is made from bio-based and certified recycled materials. In addition to having approximately 40% certified recycled content and 60% bio-based content, Acetate Renew reduces greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel usage compared to traditional acetate. We are excited to work with this new material because unlike other sustainable alternatives, Acetate Renew is indistinguishable from classic acetate, assuring wearers of the high quality and premium styles they expect from Marchon Eyewear. In July the product was introduced into a new Responsible Eyewear collection from Ferragamo. We have sunglass and optical styles in five colors.
Upcycled plastic is produced through a new method where five recycled plastic water bottles are repurposed, or “upcycled” into a frame. The fabrication process begins with the plastic bottles being manually separated and selected. Next, the recycled waste is washed thoroughly and cut into chips. The chips are pressed into small pellets, then melted down and injected into a frame. You can find Upcycled Plastic in eyewear collections from Dragon and Lacoste.
Additionally, we have been using 45% Plant-Based Resin, a natural, bio-based plastic as a smarter, cleaner alternative to standard petroleum-based plastic. The material we use comes from castor bean oil, a highly resilient and renewable plant resource. The process begins when the castor plants are harvested for their beans. Oil is pressed from the beans and turned into pellets which are melted and injected into eyewear frames. We initially started using Plant-Based Resin on brands such as Nike, Lacoste and Dragon, but as of 2020 it has now become our standard injection material for all new plastic styles across all brands.
The partnership with Zeiss is very recent: would you tell us about this agreement?
We are very proud to announce our collaboration with ZEISS, a global industry leading lens innovator, to design, manufacture and distribute eyewear under their name. Starting in the US this Fall, we will introduce a capsule collection distributed by our Altair portfilio. Marchon will expand Zeiss eyewear’s presence globally in the Spring of 2022.
Let's talk about licenses: what are your current and future plans?
At Marchon, we closely following consumer demands and shifting trends while executing with speed to have the right brands and products available at the right price. We are continuously enhancing our brand and product offerings to ensure we have a world class portfolio of Fashion, Lifestyle and Performance brands at premium price points that will appeal broadly to their consumers. Our Fashion and Performance brands are doing very well with Nike, Calvin Klein, Lacoste and Ferragamo performing strong. We recently renewed our long term license agreement with Lacoste and have seen great success with our newest license brands- Lanvin and Converse- each speaking to a different audience. We are excited about our newest license, Zeiss, and the collection we will debut in 2022.
In 2022, MIDO will return with a presence edition. What do you think is the role played by this exhibition?
MIDO has 50 years of history, it is important to recognize the role that the exhibition has played in contributing to the birth and development of the eyewear sector.
We look forward to seeing you at MIDO 2022!Absolutely, we will be there!