Over four billion people wear spectacles around the world. Every year, countless frames and lenses end up broken and, rather than being repaired, are simply left to landfill. It is our belief that a more sustainable approach to consumption is needed.
To tackle this global issue, we aim to:
1. Make frames that last
2. Reduce our impact on the planet
3. Change the industry for the better
For a more detailed explanation of the three efforts above, keep reading.
Making frames that last
We create frames that focus on functionality and durability, that can easily be serviced, reglazed, and repaired.
We offer every Cubitts customer a complimentary frame rehab after their first year of frame ownership, which includes a thorough cleaning and a complimentary adjustment.
Repairs and adjustments, forever
We will always favour repairing a frame over replacing it. All of our stores have on-site repair workshops, and our frames are made in a way that makes them much easier to service and repair than most.
Reducing our impact
We aim to minimise wastage across our supply chain by finding alternative and innovative materials, recycling options, and better production methods.
We use cellulose acetate from Italian firm Mazzucchelli to make our frames. It’s a semi-synthetic material made from wood pulp and cotton that is resilient and perfectly suited to making spectacle frames that last. It is, however, a plastic. And while plastic is not bad per se, our ongoing initiatives to reduce the impact of our materials include:
1. Exploring other industries that can use our offcut waste. This includes donating our acetate offcuts to artists and designers that can repurpose them into something new.
2. Finding new materials with increased circularity or recyclability, including those launched in our REDUX collection of frames, made using plastic alternatives. While we haven’t found one that lives up to our standards of resilience and repairability, we’re hopeful we’ll find one soon.
If you have a suggestion for any of the above issues we’ve identified, you think there’s something we’re missing, or you’d like to use our offcuts in your craft or industry, please drop us a line at email@example.com.
Lenses are incredibly wasteful, from the 'dummy' lenses that keep our frames in their shape when in transit, to the amount of material that gets discarded when they're being glazed to fit frames.
One of our most recent changes we've made is to begin working with Zeiss on our varifocal lenses, which are available in store only. Zeiss is making innovative strides to improve sustainability. The following are just some of the initiatives they are taking: 2.3m KW of electric saved last year, began working with a downcycling partner for offcuts to be reused in manufacturing, optimisation on every lens blank, which saves 40% on lens material and reduces the waste created by grinding the lenses to shape, and using dry glazing.
We’re working on other exciting initiatives for our other lenses. Check back here soon for more information.
We are eliminating single use plastic packaging throughout our supply chain, including the packaging that comes with our accessories.
Our cleaning cloths are made from Repreve, a material made from recycled plastic bottles, and our soon-to-be-launched tote bags use cotton from The Better Cotton Initiative, which works to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in, and better for the sector’s future.
Our carbon footprint
We’re not just looking at the side of sustainability that faces you as a customer purchasing our products, we’re also looking at reducing our environmental impact across our entire business.
We started working with The Planet Mark in early 2020 to measure and reduce our carbon footprint. First, we’re measuring the 2019-2020 financial year, which ended in March 2020. As of September 2020, we are certified by The Planet Mark, with a goal to reduce our carbon footprint by five percent each year.
To begin, we have identified the three largest areas of the company that create the most impact: electricity, freight, and waste. We have assembled a team of "champions" from across all areas of the business to help tackle our footprint across the board, including 1 member of every store team, and one member of every HQ department, from lens glazing and frame making to finance and marketing.
Check back soon to learn more about the changes we’re making.
Changing the industry, for the better
We want to change the spectacles industry by making repairs and servicing standard, and encouraging a more sustainable approach to spectacles.
Frame donation and recycling
We donate our unsold stock to eye health charities in Kenya and Ethiopia. Anyone can drop off their old frames to be donated too, whether Cubitts or not, in any of our stores or by post to Cubitts, 97 Caledonian Road, London N1 9BT.
B Corp certification
We are working towards becoming a B Corp certified business. B Corp evaluates and certifies businesses that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
We’re on a mission to eliminate stock obsolescence by launching our new app, HERU. Our goal is to one day make all frames to order and to measure for the intended customer, so that we eliminate stock wastage in both our production materials and our finished product. HERU is not yet available to download, but you can see it in action in any of our stores with our bespoke service. Check back soon to download the app.
Have any questions or suggestions to help us become more sustainable? Send our team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.