In this blog post we will delve into the second sub-cycle of our model that we call "Circular Production Process". From the beginning of the manufacturing of our product, a process-oriented to circularity is initiated. We started this path from the design of our glasses, where we searched with great dedication, for those materials or waste that are found in Patagonia and Southern Chile, which also meet the technical characteristics that ensure high-quality standards for all of our products.
Subsequently, a production chain begins marked by a series of links, each of which contributes to circularity. Within this process, the work we do with the Karün Collectors from the coast of southern Chile stands out. They collect different types of waste or materials that affect our natural ecosystem (such as ropes and fishing nets) and sell them to us. This waste is part of the material used to manufacture our products.
Technical version diagram:
The search for raw materials with which we work is a permanent process within our chain and challenges us to innovate in new techniques and designs. One of the aspects that we consider in this search is to identify organic and inorganic materials or residues that are found in Patagonia and Southern Chile, and that meet the mechanical characteristics suitable for the manufacture of the product in the design stage. This stage considers a study and laboratory tests to identify those that work for the process.
Once the material to be used has been defined, the design of the material recovery strategy begins, for which a collection chain is formed with rural or local collectors, who are the key link in our chain. Thanks to this process, we guarantee that the material is collected in a socially, environmentally, and economically responsible manner; that it contributes in the long term to the regeneration of local economies.
The material is picked up by Karün's allies so that it reaches recycling plants and starts a new cycle in our production chain.
Next, you can find a table that summarizes the amount of material we have recovered from the territory each year:
When we look at the numbers of fishing nets, we can see how much progress we’ve had in the collection of this material, and we are very happy to observe the economic benefit that these progress has meant for our local collectors and for the territory. To date, this year, we have collected a little over 17 tons of waste in total and we hope to close the year with 30 tons of collected waste.
The number of metals is very low because we started collecting this material this year. We aim to collect 2 tons of metal waste in this first year.
For products made from recycled plastic
The waste from the fishing nets, whose material is Nylon 6, is sent to our recycling partner Aquafil where the waste meets other discarded nylon to create the raw material. They are pioneers in developing a recycling system that guarantees the quality of the raw material, which by means of a chemical recycling achieves the regeneration of the recycled plastic to leave it as virgin material.
The ECONYL® regeneration system consists of 4 stages:
- Rescue: The ECONYL® Regeneration System starts with rescuing waste (our fishing nets and other discarded nylon sources). That waste is then sorted and cleaned to recover all of the nylon possible.
- Regenerate: through a process of regeneration and purification, nylon waste is recycled back to its original purity. This means that ECONYL® regenerated nylon is exactly the same as virgin nylon.
- Reinventing: ECONYL® regenerated nylon is processed into granules for the production of eyeglasses.
- Reimagining: The beauty of ECONYL® regenerated nylon is that it has the potential to be recycled infinitely, without ever losing its quality. After this process, the waste transformed into granules is sent to our manufacturing partner in Italy.
The factories we work with are our strategic allies, which allow us to have an attractive product for our customers, which meets high-quality standards, and which ensures a minimum impact on the environment, from its creation to the end of its useful life.
Based on these principles and to make efficient use of our resources, we are working to ensure the best quality so that our products can last a lifetime and therefore avoid generating new waste.
With the aim of being more and more sustainable, we hope that in the medium term we can manufacture our products in the same territory where the raw material comes from, producing as locally as possible and thus avoiding the carbon footprint that the raw material journeys imply. In the meantime, we have netted our carbon footprint from the impact we are not yet able to avoid, with TNC carbon credits, becoming a CarbonNeutral® company. For more information read here.
After manufacture, the glasses are sent to our customers, ensuring that the material we use for packaging is as sustainable as possible.
Our brochure and box are made from recycled material, which after being used is easy to recycle again or give it a new use. Our bags are made from organic cotton or recycled leather, and the filling we use to send our packages is 100% corn-based, which means they are 100% biodegradable.
To ensure the recyclability of these products, we have certificates that guarantee their condition.
Leather certificate example here:
Sales and distribution
We are aware of the consequences of transport on the environment and plan deliveries as responsibly as possible. To minimize the carbon footprint during transport, raw materials are reduced in size and volume, and the most responsible route is considered as a criterion, always prioritizing ships over planes. The footprint produced by this shipment has also been netted with TNC carbon credits. For more information read here.
If the glasses are at the end of their useful life, we invite our customers to send them back to avoid new plastic waste. In return, we give you a discount on any new pair of Karün glasses. The polycarbonate lenses we receive can be recycled, and the frames can be regenerated thanks to Econyl® regeneration system, so we can produce new ones, starting the circular chain once again.
If the used product arrives in good condition, we refer it so that it can be refurbished and prepared for reuse and use again. These reused and refurbished products are donated to community initiatives.
If you have questions or suggestions you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us HERE.