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5 Minutes with… Mondottica and Sustainability /

This month, we sit down with Kate Box, Mondottica People & Culture Director, and Nik Spears, Mondottica Eyewear Designer, to talk all things sustainability, Earth Month and new brand partner, AllSaints.

April’s Earth Month has focused minds on sustainability and the environment, does Mondottica have any new developments or announcements in this area?

Kate Box: Since joining the UN Global Compact in September 2021, we have focused on improving the sustainability of our products, packaging, and operations.

We have just announced Mondottica’s recent ISO 9001 certification – a globally recognised standard for quality management. It helps organisations of all sizes and sectors to improve their performance, meet customer expectations and demonstrate their commitment to quality. We are really proud of this, and it demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. For the first time, it contains explicit inclusion of climate change considerations and the environmental impact of operations.

Last year, we certified Bronze Level Member status at Investors in the Environment, an environmental accreditation scheme to help reduce environmental impact.

We’re about to share our third biannual Sustainability newsletter to our customers and partners. This includes our use of acetate renew in some of our collections and draws attention to the work we’ve been doing on our international operations, in particular measuring our CO2 impact at trade shows. A large number of our staff travel to trade shows so as business we have analysed the carbon relating to this and have set targets for improvement.

What impact has Mondotticas sustainability efforts made over the past year?

Kate: We have five internal groups working on projects relating to product, packaging and POS, scope three emissions, communities, and resources. There is a lot of work going on and we’re finding that small, incremental gains are the most sustainable.

For example, we changed our A4 show cards to A5, reducing the production volumes by half. We are also delivering posters in fully recyclable cardboard and our goal is for a zero waste POS ordering system.

We have halved the use of side arm protective covers in transportation for our eyewear and we are looking at alternative materials such as corn starch and soy printed wrap.

Why is this so important to Mondottica and its brand partners?

Kate:  Conducting best business practices in this area is our long-term strategy. Many of our brand partners are really aligned to this approach and hold us to the highest standards. Plus, we aim to go above and beyond their expectations.

At the heart of who we are, we have always worked in partnership with our brands. We do the right thing. We are proud. We design beautiful products, helping people to see, reaching people far and wide. We recognise our responsibility to Do good business and to limit our negative impact.

Why did you decide to design the first AllSaints eyewear collection in sustainable Acetate Renew? What input did the brand have in this area?

Nik Spears: For our newest brand partnership, it felt right to go fully sustainable. When we first started to develop the relationship with AllSaints, there was an increased suitability and quality progression in sustainable materials for eyewear.

We made a collaborative decision to launch a completely sustainable range. Plus, as it was AllSaints’ first venture into eyewear, it was extremely important that the collaboration was progressive, fashion forward and showed a commitment to sustainability.

Are there any other sustainable elements in the collection or how it is produced?

Nik: The AllSaints eyewear case is made from recycled faux leather and recycled polyester. Anecdotally, 99% of the stainless steel in the eyewear collection is recyclable.

Could you explain more about the renewable acetate you use? What are the properties and how different is it from regular acetate?

Nik: Regular non-renewable acetate is made from cotton and wood pulp mixed with petrochemicals derived from fossil fuels. Acetate Renew was developed by a company called Eastman who has pioneered a closed loop solution where acetate is remade from recycled pellets of acetate. It achieves the same characteristics of non-renewable acetate which is really important for quality and customer comfort.

What environmental and sustainable ambitions does Mondottica have for the forthcoming year? Is there anything you can exclusively reveal?

Kate: The natural step for Mondottica is to explore B Corp status. Our next immediate goal is achieving Silver Level Member status at Investors in the Environment and now we’ve attained ISO 9001 certification, we will continue to look at ways to drive efficiency which will include our sustainability work.

We are continuing to offset our carbon emissions, which we have been doing since 2021, through a woodland with recreational access to local walkers near our offices in Nottingham called Emilie’s Wood. We’ve just confirmed our offset for 2023 and in total we have planted 1844 trees.

Mondottica wants to remain authentic and credible in its sustainability actions

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