Our goal is to make you happy with our high quality products and to assure you that you will enjoy your product for a long time! To make this possible, we work on many projects at the same time and would like to provide you with a transparent insight of our process. We see sustainability as a continuous process that we are always pushing forward – under the motto ‘Step by step towards sustainability’!
Our products are produced in the advanced metropolis of Shenzhen (near Hong Kong). For the processing and production of the materials, the most modern technologies are used, which allow us to break new ground and achieve progress. To ensure that ethical standards are met, we maintain very close contact with our partners and are regularly on site. We also have external audits carried out by the company QIMA, which visits the production sites annually and checks for a variety of standards such as safety and hygiene concepts, working hours and practices or supply chain management.
In Cologne (Germany), we also have our own glazing laboratory where we manufacture the lenses for our prescription glasses. Trained opticians grind the glass lenses on site according to the specified vision values of our customers and insert them into the frame of the respective glasses model. This way, we can ensure that your prescription glasses are perfectly tailored to you and meet your needs. From here, the prescription glasses are finally shipped to you.
Sustainability starts with the design of the product. We keep our designs minimalistic and timeless, so that you can combine our products easily in everyday life. In addition, we take a detailed look at raw materials and materials that combine quality and sustainability. This means that with the right care, our products will be long-lasting companions, rather than seasonal trend pieces. If you want to know how to care for your products properly, you can find out here.
The abbreviation rPET stands for recycled polyethylene terephthalate, a material which is made from old plastic bottles. rPET has the advantage that it is particularly robust, durable and also recyclable. On average, 20.5 plastic bottles are recycled for one backpack. How does this work? Through the recycling process, the so-called "post consumer plastic", which comes from private consumers, is returned to producers where it is cleaned and melted down for spinning into new polyester fiber. Recycled polyester is equal in quality to newly produced material, but requires significantly less energy to manufacture. With our Sustainknit collection, which we launched at the beginning of 2021, we have brought the first backpacks onto the market in which rPET is processed as a woven material.
The material PU (polyurethane) is a vegan tech material and similar to rPET particularly robust, wear and weather resistant and thus perfectly suited for our durable backpacks.... Due to its material nature, PU absorbs less dirt than coarser textiles and is easy to wash off and clean when needed. Unlike PVC and PFC, which have a similar texture but are harmful to the environment and health due to the use of dioxin and toxic chlorine in the production process, PU is less harmful to the environment. However, for the PU material, we are currently looking into more sustainable alternatives, such as recycled PU or waterbased PU, which only requires ecological solvents during processing. Meanwhile, our entire range of backpacks is mainly made of the two materials rPET and PU.
For our sunglasses and eyeglasses we mainly use acetate, which is known for its light weight as well as high flexibility. To produce acetate, we use cellulose, which is derived from the natural and renewable resource cotton. The cellulose is ground into a fine powder, esterified and pressed into a sheet mold, from which the respective frame shapes of our eyewear models are subsequently cut out. Any waste is collected and can be recycled, making production even more sustainable. We are currently working on switching entirely to a bio-acetate for our sunglasses and eyewear models, which only uses plant-based plasticizers in the process and thus allows the material to biodegrade more quickly.
For the majority of our watch and jewelry collections, we use very high-quality 316L stainless steel made of chrome, nickel and molybdenum. A high proportion of chromium makes the housing particularly robust as well as corrosion-resistant, while nickel and molybdenum provide protection against, for example, water, heat and salt. Among other things, this composition gives our watches increased resilience to ensure that you enjoy your watch for a long time. In addition, 316L stainless steel is hypoallergenic, making it suitable for everyone. For our latest watch models, we are currently already using recycled 316L stainless steel, which is extracted from offcuts and waste materials and then reprocessed. To ensure that we become even more sustainable in our watch production in the future, we have set ourselves the goal of further expanding the use of recycled stainless steel.
For the covering of our watch cases, we use high-quality sapphire glass as much as possible. Due to its particularly strong hardness, the sapphire crystal gets its name and enables a high protection of the watch case as well as enormous scratch resistance. This is how we guarantee that your watch will look as good as new for years and can be a loyal companion to you. To produce sapphire crystal, high-purity aluminum oxide is melted and shaped. It is then cut, ground, polished and anti-reflective in several steps.
Some pieces of our jewelry collections as well as the glasses chains are made of brass, which is polished to a high gloss and can hardly be distinguished from gold. Brass consists of a copper-zinc alloy and has the advantage that it can be recycled completely and as often as desired - without any loss of quality. Thanks to its robust character and the fact that brass can be polished again and again, it promises very long new value.
In order to adequately protect our products during transport, we unfortunately cannot do without secure packaging. However, we follow the guiding principle of reducing packaging as far as possible and, where this is not possible, we keep an eye out for more sustainable alternatives. We have already adapted our packaging in many places, for example by introducing smaller cardboard boxes for our watches. We have completely eliminated unnecessary plastic packaging from our sunglasses and backpacks. In addition, some of our cardboard packaging is FSC* certified, which we would like to further expand in the future, also from the point of view of recyclability.
*Forest Stewardship Council
Reusability plays a major role in our packaging materials, as we cannot completely do without the protection of packaging in some places. For example, our backpacks are delivered in cloth bags which can afterwards be used as laundry bags or similar. The small bag in which our glasses and sunglasses are delivered can be used as a cleaning cloth for glasses at the same time. The cardboard boxes of our watches and sunglasses are designed to be sturdy and of high quality, so that they can be used for storage or as a decorative piece in your own home.
Transportation is a major contributor to environmental impact. Since we sell our products worldwide, we cannot avoid transport. However, we want to make it as sustainable as possible, as one of the biggest levers for reducing pollution. In 2021, we were already able to transport over 95% of all our products by train from Shenzhen to Germany. Why not 100%? In the event of delivery bottlenecks or other circumstances, we are still dependent on a small proportion of alternative transports. However, we are constantly reducing the proportion of alternative means of transport, such as the airplane, because transport by train emits around 40 times less CO².
We want to give back to the earth as much as we take from it in other places. Together with our partner “CO²-positiv!” , we annually determine our emissions from transport, as well as in our offices and stores, and offset them through climate protection projects. Since the year 2019 we compensate our carbon footprint from collection of suppliers to delivery to our customers through an adequate reforestation project in Panama (CO2OL Tropical Mix). Moreover, we work on further reducing and compensating our CO² emissions in our Supply Chain.
Delivery to you is made as efficient as possible through collective warehouses of our transport service providers. In addition, our shipping is climate neutral* through DHL GoGreen. In order to raise awareness for delivery routes and thus minimize return routes, we do not pay for the costs of a return. In this way, we save an enormous amount of paper by not enclosing the returns label with each individual parcel and producing superfluous waste if not used. In the long term, we are aiming for a multichannel solution by spreading our own retail stores to further minimize and simplify returns and delivery routes. If you would like to find out where you can find one of our stores or retail partners near you, click here.
*other domestic and international deliveries are also compensated.
We want to create even more transparency for our employees, partners and customers by drawing up a Code of Conduct and a sustainability report for 2022.
With the Rise, we launched the first watch made of recycled stainless steel in our portfolio in 2021. We aim to further expand the use of recycled stainless steel for our watch range in the coming year.
In 2021, we are already transporting 95% of our goods by train. In 2022, we want to increase this share to 97% in order to save even more CO² in the transport of goods.
We will continue to put our materials to test and successively replace them with more sustainable variants. For example, in 2022 we plan to introduce bio acetate in our new sunglasses collection.
In 2020, we launched our own climate protection initiative with our Kapten Wald. By the end of 2022, we aim to grow our forest to at least 200,000 trees.
Sustainability starts in the mind and our team always has great ideas. We want to give our employees the opportunity to develop and contribute their own ideas. That’s why we will launch an internal Knowledge Space for sustainability in 2022.
Currently (as of November 2021), around 15% of our watches sold still have animal byproduct straps. In 2022, we aim to reduce this share to 5% of all watch sales. By the end of 2023, we want to remove all watches and watch straps made of leather from our product range and offer our customers 100% vegan products.
Where we cannot further reduce packaging in the future, we intend to continue to expand our approach to reusability in 2022.