Good design is never finished.
Across all industries, products are continually being re-designed. In the tech world, constant iteration is normal and we value the newer version of an existing product over its predecessor because we know it will perform better. Generally, in the fast fashion industry it's less about improvement and more about 'new' for the sake of new.
But we're not fast, we're slow and proud of it. At MONC, we don't do new for the sake of new. We do new for good reason. That's why we're (re)introducing a better, less impactful version of three of our original designs. Earlier in the year we redesigned our Kallio frame and now it's the turn of Gràcia, Kreuzberg and Södermalm.
A WORK IN PROGRESS
In 2016 we launched The Originals Collection, designed by our founder Freddie in his kitchen where MONC began. Each frame was built to last, fit comfortably and do as little harm as possible. We're proud of our Original Collection and what we've achieved so far, but there's still a long journey ahead of us.
"We believe in honest and ethical eyewear, designed to last a lifetime and do as little harm as possible. We are forever revisiting each part of what we do and making carefully considered improvements"
WHY (RE)INTRODUCE PERFECTLY GOOD FRAMES?
There are various reasons we want and we feel it is necessary to (re)introduce our Originals Collection, the main reason being we want to create a change in the way that eyewear is produced. When Freddie first visited workshops in Italy, he discovered just how much plastic waste was produced as a result of eyewear production - shockingly, 80% of waste material is left over after each production run and either put into landfill or incinerated.
This is a huge problem that we simply can't overlook. Most people have no idea about the negative impact frame production has on the environment, not through ignorance, but purely because it's not being talked about.
Trying to change an industry so stuck in its ways isn't easy, but that doesn't mean we won't stop trying. We're responsible for the way our designs impact the world and the ripple effect they start once they're released. It's our duty as designers to think about impact, all the way from the raw materials to final disposal. This is why we feel it's important for us to be honest with you, by sharing our journey and the changes we're making for the better.
(RE)INTRODUCING THE ORIGINALS
Each of our frames take inspiration from a creative neighbourhood from all over Europe, seeking out the journeys of the independent designers and makers who share our collective passions. From Gràcia in Barcelona, Kreuzberg in Berlin and Södermalm in Stockholm, we take influence from the culture, design and craftsmanship of each area. This year has made us realise just how much we enjoy exploring different places and the nuances of life in other parts of the world, so here's hoping we can all begin exploring again in the near future.
Our unique square shape with a vintage style. We love its chunky frame and the fact that it naturally suits both men and women. This design was inspired by Gràcia, the artistic district of Barcelona, known for its 19th-century boulevards and pedestrian lanes lined with boutiques. Gràcia is teeming with like-minded entrepreneurs and where artistic culture and fashion shines through.
Our Kreuzberg frame design takes inspiration and edge from the bohemian culture of Kreuzberg, one of our favourite areas of Berlin. Kreuzberg is known for its third wave coffee culture and Turkish cuisine, this design is rooted in standing out and seeing life a little differently.
Last but certainly not least, we have Södermalm, inspired by Stockholm’s Södermalm district, also known as ‘Söder’ or ‘The South Side’. The shape takes influence from traditional cat-eye and wayfarer frames, combined with a natural elegance that the frame so naturally lends itself to. A classic frame shape that suits a wide range of face shapes and for those that want to make a statement with their look.
SO, WHAT'S NEW?
If you're a proud owner of a pair of frames from The Conscious Collection or Conscious Kallio, you'll have seen the changes already made first hand. For those of you that don't, the most significant change we've made for our (re)introduction is the materials we use. From the moment we produced The Conscious Collection, we swore we'd only ever make frames out of the best, most sustainable material we could - for now that's bio acetate, the bio-based, biodegradable alternative to acetate, from which most eyewear is made.
It's not just the frame and materials we have to consider - every aspect of the product, from the initial design to the small details, is integral. Have a look below to see some of changes we've made from the originals collection release in 2016.
STRONGER, MORE REPAIRABLE HINGES
You may not know it, but the hinges on your frames can be the difference between a demise and repair. We made the change from heat sunk hinges, to riveted hinges - the more traditional hinge used when making frames. The rivet hinge is similar to a door hinge which consists of male and female parts, joined by a screw. These newly engineered, traditionally inspired hinges are stronger than their predecessor and allow us to repair our frames more easily than before.
UNIQUE BATCH NUMBERS
We believe that products should be special. That's why we've introduced something new to all of our frames - each one is numbered specifically to it's colour and quantity in their batches, so your frames are individual to you.
11 NEW COLOURS
Following suit from The Conscious Collection, we're (re)introducing The Originals in 11 new colour ways for you to choose from. We believe in limiting our consumption through small batch production, so to (re)introduce a classic, we've made around 350 pieces per design and created a diverse range of colour ways.
JOINING THE MONC COMMUNITY
We make our frames for both men and women who value quality, craftsmanship and conscientious design.
Your frames should not only look great, but they should do good too. We try to work as sustainably as possible, but inevitably, every business takes more from the planet than it gives back. We're a member of 1% for the Planet, in which we donate 1% for our annual sales directly to non-profit environmental groups that are making a big impact. This way, we're doing what we can to give back what we take.