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Bio-Acetate vs. Standard Acetate: Which is the More Sustainable Choice for Your Glasses?

Acetate is the most common material used to make sunglasses, because of its low weight, flexibility, and hypoallergenic qualities. However, there are two main types of acetate used in the industry: standard acetate and bio-acetate. Even though they have similar properties and functionalities they differ in other aspects. Here we will discuss their differences and why they matter when manufacturing sunglasses and optical frames.


What is Standard Acetate?


The standard acetate, used by many manufacturers, is mainly derived from non-renewable resources such as petroleum and it’s a plastic material similar to other ones used in different industries. Due to its durability, flexibility, and availability in a wide range of colours and patterns, it is a popular material used in the production of sunglasses and optical frames.   However, the main issue with choosing standard acetate as the material to manufacture eyewear, is that it is not biodegradable and it requires a significant amount of water and energy to produce, making it not the most environmentally friendly choice.


What is Bio-Acetate?


Bio acetate on the other hand is produced using renewable resources, such as cellulose from wood pulp and cotton. It maintains all of the qualities of standard acetate, being a material that is flexible and durable, which is also ideal for sunglasses and optical frames. It is definitely the more environmentally friendly choice, as it is biodegradable. 


Australian brand AM Eyewear uses Mazzuchelli sustainable bio-based acetate, produced using the most eco-friendly practices, and certified by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC), a sustainability certification system covering the entire supply chain and all kinds of biobased feedstocks and renewables. Furthermore, AM Eyewear cures the acetate for an extended period of time, in specially designed ovens, ensuring it’s more stable when it’s used for production of the sunglasses and optical frames, so it’s less likely to warp or twist.


In conclusion, standard acetate and bio-based acetate are equivalent in terms of quality when it comes to producing sunglasses and optical frames - but when it comes to choosing between these options, bio-acetate is the most environmentally friendly alternative, being the choice of the brands that are ecologically conscious.


With its compromise of being a sustainable sunglasses brand, AM Eyewear will always deliver the most environmentally conscious product, across all aspects of the product - from the Bio-based acetate, through its bio-based Carl ZEISS sun lenses,  to the case the frame comes in, which is made from recycled materials. 


Learn more about AM Eyewear’s sustainability here.

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