In recent years, there has been a significant demand for sustainability practices among brands as more environmental problems are on the rise. The call for change is especially felt within the retail and fashion industries, which are considered to be major contributors to global pollution. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) cites that fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, accounting for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions and 20% of global water use. Furthermore, around 85% of textiles go to landfills each year and remain as pollutants since they do not biodegrade.

As a result, a lot of brands are taking the necessary steps to adopt greener measures by ethically sourcing their materials and ensuring eco-friendly initiatives through the production process. Sportswear brands have been notably sustainable for years and are only ramping up their efforts today. One such environmental ally is Oakley, an industry leader at the forefront of adhering to significant sustainability efforts without compromising quality.

Quality meets sustainability

Oakley are a brand committed to quality, innovation, and style. They became a pioneer in the eyewear industry with their design prowess and attention to detail, making Oakley sunglasses a leader in performance eyewear. The brand’s notable frames, including the Flak® 2.0 XL, Jawbreaker®, and Holbrook™ XL, are recognised for their cutting-edge design that is non-slip and durable, making them a popular choice among people with an active lifestyle. Oakley also highlights their latest lens technology, which seamlessly incorporates comfort with protection using polarised lenses to protect from ultraviolet (UV) rays.

In terms of sustainability, the brand is also recognised for its use of eco-friendly materials. Some Oakley frames, such as the Leffingwell and Frogskins XXS, are made using BiO-Matter, one of their newest innovations. It is made of castor bean bio-resin, which is derived from biological sources such as vegetable oils instead of petrochemicals—this reduces carbon footprint and impact on the planet. The brand also emphasises its commitment to monitoring its carbon footprint, choosing to efficiently and responsibly use resources while further investing in the auto-production of renewable energy close to its manufacturing sites.

Future eco-initiatives

Given the dedication Oakley are investing towards sustainability, there are some interestingdevelopments in their initiatives outside of eyewear, too. The recent release of the Oakley x Satisfy line not only displayed the brand’s continuous attention to quality but also highlighted their adherence to producing sustainable apparel. The collaboration reimagines sunglasses and apparel to present a whole new approach to running equipment and features the Mothtech shirt made from organic cotton. This is aligned with the brand’s initiative with Better Cotton, cementing their commitment to sourcing at least 50% of their cotton from ethical and fair-trade suppliers.

In line with this, Oakley are also working towards promoting a circular economy by having sustainable technologies. The brand seeks to introduce more bio-based materials into its range of products, which has already started with the BiO-Matter initiative. Some emerging materials being used in sustainable eyewear include vegetal resin, bio-acetate, and recycled plastic.

Presently, Oakley have yet to release any further news regarding their future eco-initiatives. However, as our article on the EU’s upcoming Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) states, it is expected that more companies will improve their sustainability efforts to help reach the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. This initiative essentially requires businesses to report their green efforts and encourage one another to invest in environment-friendly business practices, which can lead to changes within the corporate atmosphere.

Furthermore, Research from the University of Leeds found that there is a growing shift in consumer behaviour when it comes to sustainable fashion consumption. More people are becoming conscious of their approach to fashion and want products that feature transparency in the production process and effectively communicate a brand’s green strategies. With this, we can expect to see significant developments from Oakley and how they will seek more innovations for their products to meet the current consumer and environmental demand.