【DE】opti 2023: Sustainability in ophthalmology and less is more

Sustainability in ophthalmic optics is once again one of the focus topics at opti 2023. Protecting the environment, dealing with resources in a socially responsible and mindful manner is becoming increasingly self-evident in many companies in the industry. This is shown by exhibitors from all product areas from 13th to 15th. January in the three halls of the International Trade Fair for Optics & Design.


Premium glasses that combine quality and design with sustainability. Since its foundation, NEUBAU EYEWEAR has followed the guiding principle of “Sustainable Avantgarde” and is constantly setting new standards. Recently, for example, the company location with production facility in the heart of Austria in Linz is CO2-neutral. Managing Director Daniel Liktor: “After we were able to set new milestones as a company in 2022, we are pleased to start a successful new year at opti.” In hall C2.545, NEUBAU EYEWEAR will celebrate the premiere of a special design edition, designed together with the renowned German studio fashion label ODEEH.


“More with less.” Less is more is the clear announcement of VAVA Eyewear from Portugal also during the appearance at opti in January (Hall C1.471). Sustainability requires mindfulness, and there are many ways to avoid waste and protect the environment today. Making unique eyewear is VAVA’s ambitious mission. Just like the Mazzucchelli acetate, the Barberini crystal lenses and aluminum used for VAVA glasses are 100 percent recyclable. There is logically no plastic packaging.


The creators of Jisco, on the opti in hall C1.559, also live and love nature. The DNA of the Spanish eyewear label based in Palma de Mallorca is Mediterranean, the attitude is uncompromising: “At JISCO, we design every model with ecological awareness and the will to become better and better as a company,” says Marketing Manager Patricia Hervas. Here, too, the critical eye applies to the procurement of raw materials, the production process and the packaging. Compostable plastic is not the most beautiful, but the best solution for Jisco to bring his sunglasses and prescription glasses to the customer. Jisco Eyewear is made in many colors and shapes made of 100% bio-based acetate and pure titanium from Japan, which is fully recyclable.


Different materials, always sustainable


A completely different sustainable material is processed in the Vulkaneifel, and exclusively. The Wollenweber eyewear manufacturer is one of the few German companies that specialize in the natural material buffalo horn. Company founder Dieter Wollenweber was one of the first manufacturers of horn glasses ever. The frames are created in an elaborate artisanal process, more than 200 work steps are necessary up to the final product. The base of each horn glasses, the horn plate, is provided with wood or silk laminations, only then will different natural colors and shapes be possible. The most important thing about this: As high-quality and noble as the material is, it is a by-product of livestock farming. Not a single animal loses its life because of its horns. At opti 2023, the family business, which is now run by Wollenweber’s daughters Sarah and Vanessa, will be presented in hall C2.467.


It also feels a bit like family at LEIPZIG Eyewear. The opti BOX AWARD contender moves to the January opti in hall C2 (booth BOX 13) and, as the name suggests, cooperates unconventionally with a local coffee roastery, a fashion label from there and a local family business that produces lemonade. What does this have to do with stylish glasses? “We support each other with know-how, networking activities and also models. This saves money and time,” explains Paul Nestler, who is responsible for marketing at LEIPZIG Eyewear. After all, sustainability is more than just environmental protection for the young label, which is a good two years old. But this is not neglected either: All production processes at LEIPZIG Eyewear take place in one house, the goods do not have long delivery routes and times. German spring stainless steel and – attention – polyamide powder from recycled sports clothes are processed. One of LEIPZIG Eyewear’s next projects is a deposit system for support lenses.


Advancing sustainability together


This is exactly where the interest group on sustainability comes in, which was formed on the special edition of opti in May of this year. Representatives from the different areas of the industry have joined forces here. Markus Temming from the frame manufacturer MARKUS T. e.g. (Hall C1.371), which celebrates its 25th anniversary under the motto “100 Seasons MARKUS T.” at opti, DAO Board Member Stefan Rüdiger (Hall C3.519) or optician Bernd Angst. For example, they all want to work together to ensure that the largest possible group of socket manufacturers will only use support discs made of the same material in the future to make repatriation possible. Support discs cause around 60 tons of plastic waste per year in Germany. Another current starting point of the interest group is the filtering of grinding water, and the recycling initiative of the Munich optician Carina Freytag-Hafen for contact lens blisters is to be restarted.


Being and becoming more sustainable simply plays an important role, Stefan Rüdiger explains the commitment. In 2022, for example, DAO moved a lot with the relocation of prescription glass production from Asia to Germany and Europe. With UNICOS by DAO, the medium-sized traditional company based in Baden-Württemberg presents a new, resource-saving frame collection at opti. Because all UNICOS glasses are made exclusively to order from an environmentally friendly material in Italy. Shopkeepers and storage costs are thus a thing of the past.” The next meeting of the Sustainability Stakeholder Group is also at opti 2023, where it all began. Exchange ideas together, expand the circle of the group and bring sustainability in ophthalmology closer, that’s what the initiators are all about. In January, they will have their own space in Hall C3, where trade visitors are always welcome beyond the two daily rounds of talks. Interested parties can already contact us now at info@partnerauge.


Modular design


In hall C3, stand 312 is also sustainable. “We want to help shape the world today and make our contribution to ensuring that future generations can also live well,” says SCHWEIZER, one of the oldest owner-managed companies in the optics industry. On opti 2023, the provider of special visual aids is represented with a new exhibition stand concept with reusable modular design. Presentation boxes & Co. of the new products such as new magnifying glass half-glasses and an electronic magnifying glass with free-write function contribute to climate protection. Production is carried out in an emission-saving manner at the company headquarters in Forchheim, Franconia.


Green trade fair location


Speaking of location. The location of opti, the Munich exhibition center, has of course long been committed to sustainability. The big goal within the framework of the Code of Conduct is CO2 neutrality by 2030, i.e. ten years earlier than the German trade fair industry has otherwise set. Messe München was the first exhibition center in the world to be awarded as an “energy-efficient company” by TÜV SÜD. Since the beginning of 2020, completely renewable electricity has been switched to. With the help of one of the world’s largest photovoltaic systems on the roofs of the site, the emission of around 1,600 tons of CO2 is avoided every year. 50 charging stations including Supercharger supply the electric vehicles of the customers and guests of Messe München with green electricity from solar energy free of charge. Messe München also looks good on green with 220,000 square meters of green areas, around 2,500 trees, green hall exterior walls and 35,000 square meters of green roof. Around 400,000 honey bees have been at home there for over three years. As far as waste disposal is concerned, the proportion of thermal recovery is constantly reduced: large stand components or wooden parts are collected separately during assembly and dismantling, as well as all mixed waste (AzV) as well as plastic and paper in order to be able to recycle them afterwards. Hazardous waste is separated.


The opti 2023 will take place from the 13th to the 15th. January at the Munich exhibition center. All exhibitors are listed on the opti website, as well as trade visitor tickets are available there. Media representatives can accredit themselves online. Interested parties interested in a trade press display on site at the fair should contact sunkel@ghm.de. The time until the live opti continues to shorten the opti FORUM XT. The next webinar will take place on the 8th. December 2022 at 7.30 p.m. and is under the heading “Positioning: Show what you stand for and the turnover is right”. The free registration and also the retrieval of previous episodes are also possible at www.opti.de.



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