Your specs aren’t sustainable. But they could be.

Your specs aren’t sustainable. But they could be.

Wednesday July 25, 2018

Learn about one company’s closed-loop glasses manufacturing process.

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Dresden Vision Canada is an eyeglass company that’s driven by two main questions:

  1. What do our clients need?
  2. What does the earth need?

In their words, Dresden Vision is made up of a bunch of “frustrated glasses wearers” who try to see glasses from their customers’ perspectives. We asked them about their pet peeves when it comes to picking out a new pair of frames, and we learned how they eliminated those pain points.

Pet peeve #1: Eyeglasses that are too expensive.

Glasses are way too expensive, especially given how frequently they get scratched, broken or misplaced. When co-founders Jason and Bruce first sat down to vent, they said “There has to be a better way.”

Their solution? They created a modular frame system that is fully interchangeable — “One shape in four different sizes and in a riot of colours. We make prescription glasses on the spot. For many prescriptions, it only costs $49, all in. Who else does that?!” says Mike Murray, who is the Director at Dresden Vision Canada.

glasses on wall

Pet peeve #2: Eyeglasses that are way too fragile (especially considering the cost).

Pretty much every facet of the Dresden Vision frame system is different than traditional frames.  The strength, flexibility, durability, recyclability and interchangeability is totally the opposite of the norm — meaning that you can live your life and your specs will keep up with you. If you do break them, replacement parts are affordable and easy to install on your own, without any tools!


Pet peeve #3: Buying eyeglasses feels like such a chore.

Your glasses broke or were left on the bus, and you have to replace them ASAP. So what kind of experience are you typically in for? “The experience in most current glasses shops is the perfect storm between buying a used car and a visit to the doctor’s office — opaque pricing and quality, high pressure sales in a cold and clinical environment, ” notes Mike.

Dresden Vision decided to create a different sort of vibe. In their first store in Sydney, Australia, Dresden built a warm, welcoming and inclusive environment, without sales pressure, confusing pricing or silly upcharges, and they are thrilled to have opened their first Canadian shop in Little Italy, Toronto.

So, what can you expect when you show up on their doorstep? “We’ll help you find the right size, colour and lens, and then you can sit and watch while we make your glasses right in our shop! No secret labs. No white coats. No great mystery,” says Mike.

Pet peeve #4: The glasses industry creates a lot of waste.

For Jason and Bruce, it was important to operate their business sustainably — including:

  1. Creating a closed-loop manufacturing process: if they have a defective product, they melt it down and turn it into a new frame.
  2. Considering their raw materials: their frames are made with recycled and recyclable materials. “We currently use a recyclable material and are trying to reduce the amount of new materials we use or completely replace them with recycled content,” shares Mike. “We’re always testing new prototypes on our customers; recycled wood-composites, beer keg lids, milk bottle caps, Lego, you name it!” says Mike.
  3. Ensuring their product will last: their frames have a lifetime warranty.
  4. Thinking about their product’s end-of-life strategy: their frames are 100% recyclable.


Bonus: “Our manufacturing process generates less than 1% of the CO2 that it takes to manufacture a typical pair of acetate frames, which are also sent to a landfill at the end of their useful life,” notes Mike.

Why are you choosing to bullfrogpower your business with green energy?

“We’re proud to choose green energy with Bullfrog Power because it’s the responsible thing to do,” shares Mike. “Although we’re privileged in Ontario to have a relatively low emissions grid, many Canadians aren’t afforded the same luxury. Just as we believe access to sight should be a right and not a privilege, we feel that a clean energy system and a resilient ecosystem should be afforded to all. Supporting green energy with Bullfrog Power helps grow the amount of renewables across the country and helps us get one step closer to a cleaner energy future.”