Wryuma is on a mission to reduce plastic waste through the 3D printing of premium sunglasses by bringing circular design to the eyewear industry. More people than ever are discussing the ‘health’ of our planet and what we can do to sustain it.
In a world where the fashion industry has become the second most polluting industry on earth, after oil and gas, a growing number of fashion labels are adopting sustainable manufacturing practices, including the use of compostable, and biodegradable materials and packaging.
The future of waste
A Belgian startup, w.r.yuma, founded in 2015 by Sebastiaan de Neubourg, is looking to make a difference in the fashion industry.
“The future is circular, and waste is only waste when wasted. The future of fashion is circular and 3D printed,” said de Neubourg.
According to de Neubourg, plastic is design failure as once produced it never dies and a radically new way of thinking about the future of waste.
“We are on a mission to reduce plastic waste by 3D printing quality sunglasses. ‘yuma’, is the future of waste,” he added.
Local manufacturing and recycling
De Neubourg is not a fashion insider and wants to keep it that way. He looked at sunglasses from an engineering perspective, wanting products to be built better.
Then, his understanding of the closed loop/circular economy, made him realise the opportunity of bringing to the market products appealing to fashion-conscious consumers, while would help the planet as well.
“We wanted to start a conversation about the ‘circular economy’, which is focused on local manufacturing and recycling. It’s a way for everyone to make a subtle contribution to reducing the vast amounts of plastic that is filling the world’s oceans,” de Neubourg emphasised.
3D Printed Eyewear On The Rise
As 3D printed glasses are becoming more prevalent in the eyewear industry, startups like the Dutch company Roger Bacon Eyewear and the U.S. based SpeX are all offering customizable 3D printed frames.
Wryuma is another pioneer in using recycled plastic and uses it in its 3D printing manufacturing and the process begins with the production of filament for 3D printing.
“Our supplier grinds down dashboards and transforms them into filament, though we are also using recycled PET bottles, refrigerators, bamboo, and wood. We are also exploring biomaterial options, such as algae,” said de Neubourg.
Circular Economy Design
In contrast to a linear economy which is a ‘take, make, dispose of’ model of production, the circular economy promotes resource restoration and regeneration by design and it aims to redefine products and services to design waste out while minimising adverse impacts.
In line with circular economy thinking, w.r. yuma products are intended for disassembly so they can be easily taken apart for recycling. Plans include glasses made from algae, recycled fishing nets, and coffee or beer packaging.
The idea is that consumers to be able to return their old Wryuma sunglasses so that the company can recycle, design and make a new pair.
Building The Community First
Production will begin in 2017, with the startup focusing on building their social media assets ahead of a crowdfunding campaign.
“We don’t want to be just a manufacturer; we prefer to be a community in which clients are active participants,” de Neubourg said.
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