Environmental responsibility

The basis of our environmental work is a conscious ambition, as far as possible, to introduce circular flows throughout our operations. We strive for a cycle where production, consumption and reuse are interlinked and transparent. We set high standards for ourselves and our suppliers and have identified processes and approaches for continuous improvement in each part of our value chain.

Design and product development, and raw materials
The work on sustainable products starts at the design table and the sourcing of raw materials. Innovation and development enable sustainability to play a major role
in the design of our frames. In our quest for continuous improvement, we test new design approaches and materials.

Sustainable materials
We always strive to increase the proportion of recycled and/or eco-materials and to create products with a long lifespan. In 2021, Synsam set itself the objective that by 2026, 50 percent of our glasses frames and cases produced in-house will be made from recycled and/or ecomaterials. We are working on our own initiatives to promote reuse and recycling: Recycling Outlets, Circular Collections, and the Sea2See Collection.

Through our Supplier Code of Conduct, we set requirements for materials and production that are not harmful to the environment.

Recycling and reuse with the help of our customers
In Synsam’s stores, customers have the opportunity to return glasses for reuse and recycling. We accept all types of glasses and sunglasses from all brands, even those that have not been sold by us. When the boxes of returned glasses are emptied, they are sorted according to the condition the glasses are in. They are handled as

  • The flawless glasses are washed, adjusted and the glass is removed. The frames are then resold in our Recycling Outlets.
  • Glasses that are more worn are broken down into pellets and recycled into new frames, which are sold within the Circular Collection.
  • A proportion of the volume of glasses is sent to developing countries to be matched with a new wearer with a corresponding visual defect through our partner Vision For All.
  • Remaining volumes of used glasses are sent to the recycling centre. There, the glasses are taken apart and all materials such as plastic, acetate, metal, screws, hinges and glass are sorted into the correct recycling fraction.

Increased number of Synsam Recycling Outlet stores around the Nordic region
By continuing to establish our recycling and outlet stores across the Nordic region, Synsam has continued to encourage customers to choose more sustainable options with a lower carbon footprint. Our Recycling Outlets give glasses a second chance by reselling returned and flawless products at lower prices. From December 2020 to September 2022, Synsam has opened 20 Recycling Outlet stores in Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

Glasses frames are given a new life through our Circular Collection
The Circular Collection is our first collection of recycled frames. Used frames are handed in at all our stores and are recycled, some of them constituting raw materials
for the Circular Collection.

Vision For All
Vision For All is a global charity that provides glasses to people in developing countries. Synsam contributes with used glasses that have been handed in by the customer in one of the group’s stores. Glasses are washed, the strength of the lens is noted and then Vision For All ensures that the right glasses are matched with recipients with corresponding vision defects.

The initiative thus makes use of used glasses and gives individuals who otherwise cannot afford an eye examination or to buy glasses the opportunity to do so. This creates conditions that facilitate learning and working.

The Sea2See collection recycles plastic from the oceans
Every year, nearly 8 million tonnes of discarded fishing nets, plastic bottles and flip-flops end up in our oceans around the world. In addition, it is estimated that, by 2050, the quantity of plastic in the oceans will overtake the quantity of fish. As a step in the right direction, Sea2See is a unique glasses collection where the plastic used is 100 percent recycled from the sea. The frames have been developed in collaboration with the Spanish organisation Sea2See, which collects, sorts and manufactures new products from floating plastic with the help of local fishermen. This year, more than 20,000 frames made from recycled plastic have been sold in Synsam stores, which means that we have contributed to the removal of 40.4 tonnes of plastic from the oceans.

Sustainable production
In the autumn of 2022, the Nordics’ first large-scale manufacturing industry for spectacle frames was inaugurated when Synsam Group’s new production and innovation center on Frösön, Sweden, opened its doors.

Relocating the glasses production from Asia to Frösön outside Östersund is part of Synsam’s sustainability agenda for a reduced climate footprint in the form of shorter transports, a focus on circular, recycled and locally produced materials and getting products to the market faster. Parallel with the environmental aspects, the social conditions have also been our driving force, with our own production in our own country, we have full control over the working environment.

The first collection, Jämtö was launched in autumn 2022. The frame consists of 69 percent biobased material made from wood and vegetable oils. The wood is FSC certified. The case is made in Östersund from recycled wool.