AMS Spring 2023

Sustainable 3D Printed Sunglasses Launch with Zero Waste

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According to the SmarTech Analysis report on “3D Printing in Eyewear: From Mass Customization to Smartglasses 2021,” yearly 3D printing-focused revenue in the eyewear industry will reach $2.26 billion by the year 2030, so it’s clearly a lucrative application for the additive manufacturing sector. As such, today lifestyle brand MONTSERRAT New York is launching its first eyewear collection, powered by sustainable eyewear platform King Children, which used 3D printing to create sunglasses with zero waste for the collection.

Founded by Carolina Cordón-Bouzán, together with her friend Gayle Yelon, MONTSERRAT New York combines the feel and spirit of the designer’s two favorite places—New York and Barcelona—in its pieces. According to a press release, the brand “embodies the strength, sensuality, and style of women” that walk the streets of New York and sunbathe on Mediterranean beaches, while also offering prices that won’t break the bank for luxury pieces that were ethically sourced. That’s the big point here: both MONTSERRAT New York and King Children want to make the planet a better place with a zero waste supply chain and sustainable products.

“This collaboration brings together two brands who turn to technology to reimagine the ways we create product to better our planet,” MONTSERRAT New York co-founder Yelon stated. “Both of our teams worked together to fuse the architectural notes often seen in our jewelry and the effortlessness felt wearing our clothing into sunglass styles that fit perfectly into the brand and were developed without creating material waste.”

MONTSERRAT New York got its start in sustainable luxury consumer goods with lab-grown diamonds, and also partnered with Terrapass to calculate the carbon footprint of its supply chain and then buy carbon offsets by funding methane capture and renewable energy projects in the US that help lower the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. Once the brand learned of King Children’s own sustainability focus by lowering the use of acetate in the eyewear sector, it seemed like a match made in heaven.

“We love working with MONTSERRAT New York. For this collection we wanted to create sunglasses that capture their DNA of effortless luxury while taking advantage of King Children’s technology in new ways,” explained Leslie Muller, Head of Design at King Children. “Through partnering with forward looking brands like MONTSERRAT New York and powering their eyewear offerings we are able to meaningfully move the eyewear industry towards a zero-waste future.”

The King Children technology platform was built with a zero waste supply chain in mind, and it claims that the design process eliminates waste during the manufacturing process. What’s great about 3D printing is that, in addition to its own eco-friendly and sustainability efforts, it offers customization without wasting a lot of physical models or prototypes. King Children creates a 3D model for each of its customers that place an order, which negates the need for excessive inventory that would sit around and collect dust.

The platform uses selective laser sintering (SLS) technology to craft each pair of frames out of polyamide powder, resulting in an attractive matte finish. King Children also repurposes the leftover powder and uses it for future orders, which definitely helps offset any waste. The platform says that compared to traditional eyewear companies, it only produces 7% of the typical CO2 emissions, and it also plants trees in Madagascar with Lifegate’s Zero Impact project to lower its carbon footprint even more.

The MONTSERRAT New York Eyewear collection Powered by King Children features two styles, each of which are available in three colors. The first is the Capri, which offers a classic cat eye shape in black, navy, and off-white. The second style, the Paros, is a rounded square style right out of the 90s, available in black, navy, and fuchsia. Both of the designs feature the MONTSERRAT New York logo with gold metal architectural accents that are also found on the brand’s jewelry. Each pair includes a case with a cleaning cloth featuring the brand’s logo.

The fashionable, sustainable 3D printed collection of sunglasses are available starting today, for $195 a pair. That’s more than I would personally pay for a pair of sunglasses, but I’m not much of a luxury fashionista myself. Based on a couple of quick, online searches for Oakley and Michael Kors sunglasses, that price seems to fit.


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