With the ECO collection, created 11 years ago, when the issue of sustainability was still little heard of, Modo International positioned itself on the market as a forerunner of this theme. Let's find out how the brand has developed and how it is evolving through the words of its CEO Giovanni Lo Faro.
What is the philosophy of the brand?
ECO’s mission is that of creating sustainable eyewear, designed and developed by a long-time industry professional. In this sense, everything starts from the research on the materials we can use to offer the best in terms of design, quality and sustainability: we have lines in 95% recycled metal and lines in plastic of a natural origin.
Of course, the packaging and all the POP material are eco-friendly as well. What we wish to distinguish ourselves for is the approach on a large scale, that is, we want to make a really significant and tangible impact on the environment and on the community, at the same time offering a young, authentic brand without compromises.
Is ECO’s sustainability commitment actualised through other projects as well?
Certainly. We are always on the lookout for new solutions to broaden our commitment. Thanks to the One Frame - One Tree initiative, we plant a tree for each pair of eyeglasses sold, together with a specialised non-profit organisation.
We celebrate Earth Day 2021with 2.5 million trees planted. Beyond the numbers, planting trees does not only mean reforestation, but also creating work and increasing the resources of the local communities in the countries in which we operate. Our customers have then welcomed the initiative enthusiastically, because through ECO they have an opportunity to do something tangible, with a small act.
In February, we launched the ECO Ocean collection, produced with recycled plastic from the sea. The problem with plastic invading our seas is well-known. With ECO, we have transformed it into a unique opportunity to create a product with an environmental impact that is, in fact, positive: not only do we recycle plastic, but we even remove it from the environment!
This collection is made in exclusive collaboration with sponsorship from none other than the UN. Waste Free Oceans cooperates with local fisherman to collect the plastic in the oceans. This plastic is then recycled and transformed to produce our glasses. In this way, our contribution in safeguarding the marine eco-system is real, quantifiable and widespread.
How has the brand developed over the years?
We consider ourselves to be trail-blazers for our industry, having first launched our brand 11 years ago. Even back then, ECO began with the ambition of combining style and sustainability. At the time, without a doubt, such a project was perceived as part of the “green” niche, which certainly did not enjoy the same appeal as it does today. We had the courage to continue on this road, focussing on the constant evolution of our materials and on an eco-chic style that has made us authentic, recognisable and always consistent over time.
Today, we reap the rewards of this journey, both for growth and for our own progress, and also because finally we are able to see a much more widespread eco-friendly awareness and appreciation through important awards and recognition from the world of fashion and design, from the prestigious IF GOLD Award, perhaps the most sought-after award in the world of design, and the German Design Award for recognition of our innovative magnetic clip-on.
In fashion, ECO was recently included also in Vogue Talents, the edition dedicated to sustainability, as confirmation of the fashion image of our glasses as well.
So, we feel we are the sustainable brand of reference in eyewear today!
What direction will ECO be taking and how much will sustainability influence our industry in the future?
Research moves forward and allows us to achieve more and to, therefore, widen the range of choices for the final consumer. Also, the interest towards sustainable products continues to grow, and, as a consequence, competitors and offerings will increase. With ECO we will continue to innovate.
Among the developments, next season we are aiming to introduce new materials such as bio-acetate, which, in addition to completing the look of our collection with the elegance and texture of acetate, will enrich ECO’s selection, together with the Biobased, Recycled (in 95% recycled metal) and the ECO Ocean lines.
A collection so well structured allows us to address the various targets in an always more specific way in terms of style and market segments, offering a pair of glasses that is always sustainable but of high quality and design, therefore, deserving suitable positioning inside the stores.
Image by Holger von Krosigk for SPECTR Magazine