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17 Mar 2022

MILLMEAD OPTICAL GROUP ANNOUNCES COLLABORATION WITH YAIR NEUMAN

Millmead Optical Group Stand: W100

James Conway, Millmead’s CEO, said “It’s very encouraging to see that the Optical Industry has begun to embrace more Sustainable approaches to our manufacturing and supply chain processes in the last couple of years. At Millmead Optical Group, we believe that an effective Sustainability strategy has to start with honesty. That means being candid about the scale of the issue surrounding industrial lens waste, in particular. We acknowledge that we all can - and should - do more to resolve it. We strongly believe that by speaking frankly about the extent of the problem we can mobilise not just ourselves, but also our competitors and even those from outside the industry to help bring new ideas and approaches that will solve these issues more quickly - certainly more quickly than if we continue to hide the problems behind closed doors. For example, over 3000 tonnes of lens waste ends up in landfill each year in the UK alone. We can either shy away from that and face the disastrous consequences of inactivity or we can sit up and start to own the problem, by dedicating significant resources into searching for a solution that aims to eliminate lens waste entirely. We have made encouraging progress in finding that all-important ‘holy grail’, and hope to have an update towards the end of 2022.

Our collaboration with Yair is unapologetically intended to be a highly visible and perhaps even provocative part of this process. We believe that provocation provides illumination, promotes discussion and often ignites intelligent thinking. We have hugely admired Yair’s work and his sustainability ethic for some time so we approached him at the start of the year to consider designing and building a sculpture made out of our factory’s own lens swarf and the discarded demo lenses from the frames we supply to our customers’ practices. We believe that the creation of such an installation will raise the profile of this issue and will help focus minds on the problem in a truly creative, engaging and meaningful manner, whilst celebrating the power of artistic story-telling. We are genuinely excited about the initial discussions and look forward to unveiling the results of the project in due course. Our new strategy for Jai Kudo Lenses is called ‘See the Light’ and our collaboration with Yair is the clearest indication of exactly what that strategy sets out to achieve.”

Yair Neuman said: “I have very much enjoyed meeting the team at Jai Kudo Lenses and Millmead and am excited about their genuine passion for finding sustainable solutions to their business challenges up at their Liverpool factory. I will initially be exhibiting some of my own designs with Jai Kudo at 100% Optical on 23-25th April at London ExCel and look forward to collaborating on this important subject matter over the coming months. Art has the power to inspire us to reflect on our identity and lifestyle choices, and that notion is brought into even sharper relief when considering the physical form and qualities inherent in an Optical lens. We anticipate extending our collaboration into a signature range of recycled products which will also bring unity and cohesion to Millmead’s three main Brands: Jai Kudo Lenses, Continental Eyewear and Optoplast. This range,“ rEPEAT by Yair“ will be made from recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (rPET) and will celebrate a very significant message about how Sustainability and style can comfortably co-exist, whilst starting important conversations about our place on the planet. The fact that these items have all existed in a previous form, and will enjoy a kind of renaissance as a completely new item of fashion or medical item, makes the range altogether more exciting and nuanced as a concept.”

The Millmead team and Yair Neuman will be exhibiting at stand W100 at 100% Optical on 23rd - 25th April and will be happy to discuss more details about their exciting plans for the collaboration this year.

For further details about the collaboration and all media enquiries, please contact marketing@millmeadopticalgroup.com.

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