Supporting a cause,
across the community

Retail Inspiration
April 19, 2018

The industry is giving back for a good cause.
Optical retailers, eyewear brands and leading trade fairs and eyecare organisations are raising money and awareness for a variety of causes, ranging from eye health and prevention of sight loss charities to essential vision screenings for kids in need.

20/20 Europe looked at how they will help in 2018. 
Social actions, eco issues, sustainable commitments and participation in charity projects offering much needed help for others have become a part of our daily lives.

These causes are influential, and even in a time of economic uncertainly, they continue to attract valuable support from all age groups across Europe.
In the optical retail community, support is ongoing amongst opticians and their patients as regards national eyecare charities and non-profit organisations such as Orbis International, Fight for Sight (UK) and Sightsavers.

As well as involvement in charity events and support via donations, opticians are doing their bit by taking part in a whole range of fundraising activities annually, successful involving customers of all ages.

Raising awareness in 2018: 100% Optical

The UK’s 100% Optical, the optical fair in London, has pledged its support for the Big Blind Walk 2018, in collaboration with VisionBridge, to help stop sight loss in its tracks. 

Sponsored by 100% Optical and Second Sight and supported by official partner National Eye Research Centre and a range of organisations with an interest in sight loss and eye health, the 1,000 mile walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats commences on 29th April for seven weeks and aims to raise awareness and understanding of sight loss, promote eye research and create a new fund for translational research. Opticians and the general public in the UK are invited to visit to join the walk through their home town or make a donation.

Eyewear companies - sight-saving for children and adults

Eyewear companies are lending support to and providing much needed publicity for causes that have an immediate link with charitable eyecare projects.
They include Tom Davies and Zoobug London in the UK, both supporters of ORBIS, the international non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to saving sight worldwide through programmes which focus on the prevention of blindness and the treatment of blinding eye diseases in developing countries.

Similarly, Norwegian brand Karmoie has donated to several projects in Africa. For every pair of sunglasses the Karmoie customer purchases, a pair of eyejusters is donated to one of the projects. “In each project we work with a different local organisation which takes responsibility to administer the vision tests and distribute the Eyejuster glasses,” explains the company. “Every organisation running a project is also given guides, training instructions and testing materials along with the Eyejusters glasses to make sure the testing and distribution works smoothly.”
Karmoie is also a member of Positive Luxury, a platform for positive living and brands involved in social and environmental actions.

Other leaders in this area include Italian label MODO, a company that is fully committed to a range of programmes of social responsibility and runs a “BUY A FRAME HELP A CHILD SEE” initative which provides vision screenings, prescription frames and sight-saving surgery. The company works with Seva, the global nonprofit eye care organization that transforms lives and strengthens communities by restoring sight and preventing blindness. Since 1978, Seva has helped nearly 4 million people regain their sight in more than 20 countries. Seva trains local eye care providers and develops self-sustaining eye programs around the world. MODO’s sister brand ECO is committed to the program ONE FRAME – ONE TREE, in partnership with the NGO Trees for the Future. ECO® has donated and planted a tree for every frame sold. So far, ECO® has planted over 1.5 million trees.

Zoobug’s Dr Julie Diem Le at the Flying Eye Hospital. Zoobug donates kids frames to Orbis.

Norwegian brand Karmoie donates to projects in Africa with Eyejusters, specially-devised corrective glasses that can be adjusted for different prescriptions.
Karmoie frames (above) are made from eco-friendly M49.

At MODO, the BUY A FRAME – HELP A CHILD SEE program works to provide the early detection and intervention necessary for children in need to look clearly toward a brighter future.

BLACKFIN collaborates with Andrea Bocelli and a host of global stars who take part in Celebrity Fight Night Italy – an annual fund-raising event on behalf of the educational projects of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation and the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.
Image: Celebrity Fight Night Italy 2016

Respect for the environment

In optics, a growing number of brands are identifying ways to focus on sustainability and environmental issues. Alongside the use of the eco-friendly material naturalPX in their eyewear, neubau from Austria has launched a SEE&DO GOOD project.  The brand supports concepts that show consideration to the environment including a tree planting programme in Vienna, cooperation with a bee conservancy in New York City, and a collaboration with gabarage, an upcycling firm where new and useful products are created from used materials.

The Danish company MonkeyGlasses, founded in 2010, is also a committed exponent of social responsibility and sustainability. They are committed supporters of a centre in Trivandrum, India, where old glasses are donated to people in need as well as donating to the wildlife cause that helps protect the orangutans of Borneo,

neubau supports a variety of projects through their SEE&DO GOOD campaign. This includes a partnership with The Honeybee Conservancy which empowers communities with the tools, education and bees needed to sustain local agriculture. It is a project of Social & Environmental Entrepreneurs.

A new campaign from MonkeyGlasses for the new Trust Collection, launched this year: “The Trust Collection was created with care and consideration for our planet, and the people involved in making our glasses….” Mai-Britt Seaton

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