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23 Apr

When it Involves Sustainability, Foster Grant is Eyeing Mass Impact

As a number one designer and marketer of eyewear globally, Foster Grant has a responsibility to set an example for the industry through best practices.

It’s a responsibility that Foster Grant takes seriously, seeing it as a chance to make use of its scale to create probably the most impact. Evolution is hardly latest to the corporate, now over 90 years old. The brand has transformed throughout its history to fulfill the evolving demands of consumers and the world by which we live.

Foster Grant’s sustainability efforts involve an aggressive transformation program to research each aspect of its world to make meaningful changes from logistics, distribution and shipping to production, energy use and waste. As the corporate works towards achieving its sustainability goals, they’ve begun taking steps including rethinking materials and processes to scale back using virgin materials and introduce more responsibly sourced alternatives. The brand also reuses recycled materials as much as possible, eliminates one-time use packaging with recyclable packaging at any time when possible, chooses manufacturing partners that align with sustainability goals and requires them to report on energy usage, sends damaged and unsellable eyewear for recycling and continues to transition eyewear from virgin to recycled materials.

Importantly, Foster Grant recognizes that the very best technique to put these plans into motion and create probably the most impact for its overall ESG plan is by leveraging partnerships each inside the company
and externally.

A key example of working inside its own network is Foster Grant’s commitment to supporting EssilorLuxottica’s Eyes on the Planet initiative (which is targeted on five key areas including circularity, carbon neutrality, world sight, inclusion and ethics). By working together inside the parent company, the brand can leverage expertise and resources to amplify its impact and achieve ambitious sustainability goals.

“Sustainability and innovation go hand in hand at EssilorLuxottica, with the product naturally being at the middle of its circular economy approach,” said Salvatore Mauceri, President of the sun and readers division at EssilorLuxottica. “Foster Grant’s sustainability journey is fully aligned with this initiative, with a goal to reduce our impact on the environment while enhancing product excellence and quality.”

One other essential partnership for Foster Grant got here in July 2021, when the brand began working with key manufacturing partners, to create eyewear from molecularly recycled material to scale back plastic waste. These partnerships are an effort to bring modern, sustainable eyewear frames to mass-market eyewear fashion using environmentally friendly materials which are BPA-free and phthalate-free. By utilizing these materials, Foster Grant could make a high-quality product while reducing its reliance on virgin materials.

Foster Grant can be leveraging its partnerships with retailers to create a greater impact with the patron. Communication and interaction with consumers, said Mauceri, is critical to meeting the corporate’s sustainability goals. 

“Consumers are calling on brands to create more sustainable products and plenty of are willing to vary their buying habits to support firms that do,” said Mauceri. “Sustainability isn’t any longer a nice-to-have for consumers, it’s table stakes so the more people we will energize and interact, the swifter and simpler our journey will probably be. We wish to galvanize our people – our customers and clients, our end consumer, and our employees to maneuver together toward achieving our sustainability goals.”

With goals and partnerships in place, Foster Grant has tripled the variety of frames made partly by (or “with at the least some”) recycled materials since 2021. By 2026, the brand goals to make greater than 95 percent of its eyewear with recycled materials.

Foster Grant, Sun Luv, $42.

Examining Foster Grant’s Sustainability Goals in Motion

Salvatore Mauceri, President of the sun and readers divison at Essilor Luxottica discusses the brand’s progress and key learning moments in achieving sustainability goals.

Fairchild Studio: Achieving sustainability goals may be quite difficult – have you ever had any ‘aha’ moments along the way in which?

Salvatore Mauceri: Considered one of our biggest lessons is that it is a marathon, not a sprint. Fashion trends change quickly
but sustainability requires consistency
and a latest level of thoughtfulness and intentionality from brands. Over the
past couple of years, there was a
lot of learning!

We’ve done numerous work to coach our employees and retail partners on the advantage of using recycled materials in eyewear and have been working diligently to evolve our consumer communications to make them as clear and concise as possible. The journey will take a while, but we’ve learned that we must execute our plans in the fitting way for our business and consumers.

One other ‘aha’ moment has been that leaning into sustainability requires investment. Whether that’s an investment in time, financial, business resources or other areas, the investment is essential to make sure our sustainability goals are achieved in the way we would like.

Fairchild Studio: Are you able to share an example of how Foster Grant’s sustainability journey is a holistic one?

S.M.: We now have launched an initiative called Foster Grant RECIRCUL8™, our journey toward using more recycled materials in our products and packaging.

The goal of this initiative is a more circular model, designed to extend using recycled materials in our eyewear and packaging as we maximize the chance to recycle any old or damaged products.  We are only taking off on
this journey and invite everyone to hitch
as we proceed!

Fairchild Studio: What’s the very best evidence that Foster Grant is achieving success in its sustainability journey to date?

S.M.: The most effective evidence has been the response our eyewear and plans have received from our partners, colleagues, retailers and ultimately, our consumers. When consumers are excited to purchase our glasses because they love the design or it offers the fitting diopter, we’re excited. But once they discover they’re made with recycled materials, our consumers are much more excited to purchase them. They realize that they’ll wear fashionable eyewear that supports a greater, more sustainable Earth.

Our retailers are excited to grasp how our efforts contribute to their
overall ESG journey as well. It’s a win–win across all areas as we proceed to make progress here.

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