For some time now, I’ve been trying to make everyday choices and incorporate habits that make my lifestyle more sustainable. Alongside driving an electric car day-to-day, one thing I’m particularly aware of is cutting down on single use plastics, and avoiding them where possible. At the racetrack I drink from a re-usable bottle, I use a bamboo toothbrush, and I’m very conscious of packaging when I go food shopping.
One thing I’d not considered before was my glasses. But almost nine million pairs of glasses and sunglasses manufactured from virgin plastic are sold in the UK each year. It’s a staggering statistic, and that’s why I’ve partnered with Coral Eyewear, an innovative start-up brand crafting beautifully designed glasses frames from waste plastic and abandoned fishing nets.
The Coral Eyewear team is incredibly inspiring in its efforts to provide an alternative to virgin plastic frames. The father-son team of George and Calvin Bailey have a family background in eyewear and optics and set up the business to disrupt this practice and develop planet-positive glasses.
Around 640,000 tonnes of abandoned fishing nets are cast into the oceans each year, contributing significantly to plastic pollution across the globe. It can take 600 years for these materials to break down, and during this time micro plastic fragments are ingested by marine animals. Just one abandoned net is estimated to entangle 30-40 animals each year.
Coral Eyewear is helping to reduce this waste in our oceans by reusing it and creating infinitely recyclable eyewear frames, supporting the circular economy that is essential to meeting global sustainability goals.
The company’s frames are made from ECONYL, which is pellets of recycled nylon created from regenerated ocean fishing nets and fabric scraps from landfill. Not only does this procedure actively clean up our oceans, the ECONYL process also reduces the global warming impact by up to 90% when compared to making the material from oil.
Wearing glasses is relatively new to me, as I’ve only needed them since the age of 28. But, having competed in glasses for the past four years, I’m looking forward to switching my eyewear over to Coral Eyewear’s sustainable options.