Let's get ethical, ethical

The word ethical has always worried me a bit – I think it is something to do with how New Labour’s “Ethical Foreign Policy” panned out in the end. Or it might be how big corporations misappropriate the term. Anyway, I have put my fears aside and decided to say that we aim to be an ethical optician or #ethicaloptician.

A reasonable starting point is stocking frames, in our Independent Collection, that are made from plastic reclaimed from the sea. The Sea-2-See frames are made in Italy with plastic taken from the Mediterranean off the coast of Barcelona. This got me interested in the whole plastics agenda and we’re planning an evening event with a Professor of Plastics soon – keep an eyeye out.
We also stock some Eco frames made from plant based and recycled materials and are constantly on the look out for other sustainable products.

Another part of the sustainability agenda is buying locally - #buylocal – and we are very pleased that are specs are assembled i.e. Lenses are cut and fitted into our frames – in Sheffield. Lots of reps keep offering us cheaper options, but that means spending money out of the city unnecessarily in our view. Interestingly many optical businesses now get their specs assembled abroad. Boots, for example fly in four planes a day from Thailand where their lenses are cut and put into frames. Our most recent rep visit lost our interest when he said when we pressed “enter” on the keyboard the lens would immediately be got off the shelf in Portugal!

Another thing we do that has an ethical element is stocking Banton Frames, which are designed and made in Scotland (by a lake near Glasgow) by Lucy and Jamie. There are very few frames made in the UK these days and we want to support these two young people giving it go – oh, the frames are of course lovely too.

There is more to do on making our supply chain as ethical as possible, but these things demonstrate our intent not to just go with the cheapest dominant global giants that dominate optics.

We also pride our selves on being #cyclefriendly. This means three main things: 1. You can bring your bike into the store with you; 2. We offer support all initiatives that promote cycling for leisure and utility. This includes some eyewear support for the brilliant Cycling Sheffield Cycling Team; 3. We are keen to ensure people have visual solutions for riding that enhance both their enjoyment and safety when riding.

Our pricing is intended to be ethical too. Upfront all-inclusive pricing means you can know the price at the beginning, not the end and there are no sneaky add on extras you were not expecting – this goes for contact lenses too.

Finally, booking eye exams 1 hour apart is an ethical issue for us too. You can do an eye test in 20 mins (industry standard) but find me an optometrist who feels that is really enough for everyone!

So, that is our take on ethical – feel free to get in touch to find out more or suggest other options for us to consider.

The title of this blog is of course inspired by Olivia Newton John - "Let's get Physical" - if you are old enough to remember.

Karl Hallam