Hidden waste from the eyewear industry turned into visible objects for everyday life.
When you try on a pair of glasses in a shop they have clear lenses in them. Buy the pair and see those lenses removed, thrown in the bin (this actually nobody sees) and replaced by another pair of lenses with your prescription.
These lenses in the bin are called demo lenses and there are millions of them, in bins, in landfills and in incinerators turned into thick black smoke. With more than 320m pairs of ophthalmic glasses sold annually you can imagine the amount of plastic waste. Waste maybe, but not useless.
Demo lenses are made from super clear acrylic or polycarbonate, they are discarded unused (apart from a few seconds when customers try them on in the store) and can be collected easily from optician shops or optical lens labs where they are binned. In other words it’s a great source of free material available for a repurposing mission.
I collect these lenses from a network of lovely opticians and treat them in my studio. In the past couple of years I developed a system to turn the loose lenses into a strong material called DELEREX™. It’s been a long process and the result is a beautiful raw material I use to make lighting and furniture. FUSED is my latest project in collaboration with the modern spectacle maker Cubitts. It is about re-injecting the waste back into its original industry. FUSED is the world’s first eyewear frame range made entirely from waste.