Sustainability initiatives

Synsam Recycling Oulet Store

Synsam Outlet gives frames a second life – a circular business model for Synsam
The Synsam Outlet store concept is based on changed customer buying habits. The launch of Synsam’s Lifestyle subscription concept in 2016 has had an impact on customers’ buying habits as they are offered an opportunity to rent their spectacles rather than own them, allowing them to cover all their needs as spectacles wearers.

Synsam’s Lifestyle peace-of-mind package includes one pair of replacement spectacles a year, enabling the customer to stay up to date with their needs and style. Since many of the frames received in exchange each year were in very good condition, the idea was born to extend the life of the frames by cleaning them, replacing any worn parts such as nose pads and offering them as second-hand frames at a lower price. The concept benefits the customer as well as the environment.

Synsam Outlet provides an arena where spectacle frames can receive a new lease of life with new customers. The frames are rented out again to the new customer as part of a peace-of-mind package with lenses tailored to the customer’s needs and vision. By reusing an already manufactured product, Synsam Outlet extends the life of the frames, which makes theconcept one of the fundamental pillars of the Synsam Group’s efforts to promote sustainability. In addition to Synsam’s bestsellers, which arrive as second-hand frames from Lifestyle subscribers, the Synsam Outlet stores also offer Outlet frames, which are discontinued frames from Synsam’s stores, also at attractive low prices.

Through Synsam Outlet, which gives a new lease of life to second-hand and Outlet frames, Synsam’s business model becomes more circular as the Lifestyle subscription bestsellers are collected and sold on or rented to a new customer while discontinued products are sold or rented as Outlet products. From a customer perspective, Synsam Outlet is a response to the demand for sustainable alternatives at low prices. Through this store concept, Synsam has succeeded in reaching completely new target groups who want to make informed choices and find bargains.

The focus in 2021 and 2022, in connection with the launch of the concept, was to open several stores, expand and test the concept with customers. In 2023, the focus was on developing the concept and listening to the customers’ response. An example of this is the name change from Synsam Recycling Outlet to SynsamOutlet in response to a demand from customers for clarity on what the stores offer – low-cost branded frames – which is what is signalled by the name Outlet. At the end of 2023, there were 20 stores forming part of the Synsam Outlet concept in the Nordic region.

In 2023, the Synsam Outlet range was also pilot-tested in selected Synsam stores in Sweden, Finland and Norway with the aim of increasing the availability of the concept and giving even more customers the opportunity to shop more sustainably, which will benefit the environment as well as customers’ wallets. Another development in 2023 was the introduction of Synsam EyeView in all Synsam Outlet stores. EyeView involves using technical solutions to carry out eye examinations, which enables Synsam to help more customers, with more flexibility and based on the customers’ needs.

The goal for 2024 is to further improve the Synsam Outlet concept and further increase its availability, and thus reuse and give more frames a second lease of life with new customers.

Read more in Synsam Groups Annual and Sustainability Report 2023 

“Everyone should see!” Equal opportunities to be active
Sedentary behaviour in childhood is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time. For the past five years, Synsam has been running its “Everyone should see!” initiative, which promotes physical activity among children. Poor vision should never stand in the way of equal opportunities to be active. Through the initiative, Synsam offers children aged five to twelve who have visual defects a pair of prescription activity spectacles free of charge. Work on “Everyone should see!” continued throughout the year. Since its launch in 2019, Synsam has distributed more than 55,000 pairs of activity spectacles to children across the Nordic region through the initiative.

Jämtö, Synsams first collection produced in Sweden.

A sustainable production chain – the heart of Synsam’s locally produced frames
Following the start of production of House Brands in Asia in 2016, Synsam has steadily increased the share of House Brands. The in-house production and innovation centre that opened in 2022 on Frösön outside Östersund in Sweden is a cornerstone of the company’s sustainability management. The in-house production facility also enables the company to offer frames adapted to the Nordic market.

Synsam’s first collection made at the Frösön facility, Jämtö, was successfully launched in 2022 in all the Group’s stores across the Nordic region. The Jämtö frames are made from materials based on FSC-certified wood pulp and vegetable oil. The collection’s success is based on environmental awareness among customers who want locally produced frames. In autumn 2023, a new collection, also produced at the Frösön facility, was launched throughout the Nordic region – the House Brand Oscar Eide.

The benefit of in-house production is that Synsam owns the entire chain, from idea to the customer wearing the spectacles. Synsam’s sustainable production chain takes account of everything from a well-functioning work environment and efficient transport to technology choices that minimise the use of chemicals and recovery of residual materials in production. In-house production also enables the company to test smaller volumes and achieve faster time to market. To ensure that it is able to respond rapidly to the customers’ wishes and changes in the market, Synsam is constantly developing the technology, for example through automation, and by bringing together insights and knowledge from different industries in planning and production. The purpose of the production and innovation centre is not only to be a production operation but also to serve as a hub for sustainable innovation for the entire industry. Recovery of residual materials, new alternative production methods and skills development are at the core of the business. Production at Synsam’s in-house facility on Frösön started in 2022, and in 2023 Synsam followed the ramp-up plan initially adopted for the project in order to gradually scale up the volumes, continue digitising production, increase productivity and automation, and provide an attractive workplace for the employees.


The Sea2See collection
100 percent recycled plastic from the ocean is used in the production of Synsam’s Sea2See spectacle collection. The frames have been developed in collaboration with the Spanish organisation Sea2See which, with the help of local fishermen, collects, sorts and manufactures new products from the growing amount of plastic floating in the world’s oceans.