ECOLOGIC AND SUSTAINABLE SUNGLASSES
Woodglass talks about style, about fashion accessories, about a product made with commitment, with a different way of thinking. Wearing your glasses is not only a matter of aesthetics, it defines the person wearing them, it speaks about their responsibility. In short, this are glasses for customers who are looking for something more than just a fashion accessory.
Martín Rendo and Arturo Gutiérrez are based in Santiago de Compostela, and today present Woodglass and why we are not just talking about glasses.
Tell us about yourselves. How did the idea of focusing on the sector of handcrafted manufacture come about? Why glasses?
Well, the idea came up back in 2010-2011 when one of the two partners who founded Woodglass (Martín and Arturo) needed to find wooden glasses, but couldn’t find them anywhere, nobody made them. So he decided to try to make them himself and join forces between the two to launch this project that today has evolved to other sustainable materials such as acetate Mazzucchelli, from cotton fiber.
We are dealing with a product where the big brands take the lead, where there is a great deal of competition. Are you in any way afraid of this fierce competitors? Which has been the response of the market to your product so far?
In the fashion industry, and more so in these times, there has always been a fierce competition and new brands that come to light every day. This generates the massive influx of new brands is to continue improving and evolving every day, that’s good in a way, because that makes you to improve.
The philosophy of big brands does not scare us, we truly believe that our principles and values in Woodglass are different. We make a product that we like and with sustainable materials according to our philosophy.
At the moment the response in the optical sector is very good. The materials we work with are of very good quality, which is appreciated in the long run, as a goggle is a product that you usually use on a daily basis. Our customers always repeat.
Without a doubt Woodglass’s strong point, where you really make a difference, is the environmental commitment you make and the commitment you give to your final product. Do you think this over-exertion is valued by the market? How do you think your environmental commitment influences manufacturing? Are you looking to inspire change or is it a matter of personal values?
There are two kind of customers, in general: those who value a product that is respectful of the environment, and those for whom design is a priority. It is true that the sustainable market is currently booming and we could say that it is a trend (hopefully not passing) but we have always had it very much in mind in our company philosophy since our inception.
If we talk about the manufacture, it would be another issue, we would reduce many costs by manufacturing with other materials less respectful with the environment, but our goal is to follow the line with which we started and promote those values. In addition, the product results are really good, so we can’t ask for more.
Following the environmental compatibility, you speak about «acetate Mazzucchelli», as one of your raw materials, which have added value to your product. What is really the «acetate Mazzucchelli» and how has it revolutionized your product? Which are its environmental properties?
Mazzucchelli is the surname of an Italian family that has been dedicated to this industry for 6 generations. Its small factory was founded in 1849, was mainly dedicated to the manufacture of combs and buttons of animal horn, bone and Hawksbill turtle shell.
Little by little and with the great demand that they had on the part of the industry of the fashion they began to innovate with new materials as the acetate. Cellulose acetate, first made in 1865, is cellulose acetate ester and is made from cotton fibres. It is a hypoallergenic material and its ageing over time is minimal.
The residue resulting from its manufacture is minimal, as it comes from organic matter such as cotton. It is used as a base for photographic film, varnishes, fabrics, adhesives or frames for glasses, among others.
For us it was a great alternative to wood, as many optical professionals prefer the use of acetate to work with it, and opened more market field.
You show a constant commitment to product improvement, especially aimed at the environmental optimization of the same. Do you only talk about R & D in terms of the final product or do you also take into consideration how to manufacture it the optimization of its process?
Of course, R&D and optimization of the manufacturing process go hand in hand. If an operator manages to make a process in 3 pantograph movements and not in 5, it will result in economic, time and energy savings.
A FAIR TRADE PROJECT
The product seems to have a strong connection with the place where it has arisen. Local manufacturing, raw materials… What importance do you give to your suppliers? Do you work with local suppliers? Do you think this gives the product a value that your buyers take into consideration?
Our suppliers are a very important part of our manufacturing process, as the raw material from which we start is the central axis of the finished product.
As far as possible, yes, although less than we would like, as Mazzucchelli acetate comes directly from Italy, cradle of the optical world and where this raw material is produced, since this type of sustainable acetate is not manufactured in Spain.
We believe that our customers consider the quality of the finished product, the fact that it is made by hand and with materials that respect the environment.
From our Blog Eko, we really appreciate the effort and commitment of people such as Martín and Arturo, that in charge of Woodglass make the difference mixing design, style and sustainability through the eco-design.
Think that with your purchase you are contributing to promote a change towards a fairer industry and a society that is more respectful with the consumption and the environment.