Kering Eyewear and bioplastic developer Bio-on have announced a partnership to develop new eyewear materials based on Minerv polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), a new fully natural and biodegradable polymer.

‘This is the first time in the world that a company in the eyewear industry has decided to carry out research with our biopolymers,’ said Marco Astorri, chairman and CEO of Bio-on.

Kering said its aim was to make an active contribution to an innovative and sustainable business model and provide its team of designers with a series of cutting-edge materials to broaden their creative possibilities.

Researchers from the two companies will collaborate on design, certification and marketing of new eco-sustainable materials to be integrated with the use of cellulose acetate.

Roberto Vedovotto, chairman and CEO of Kering Eyewear said: ‘The materials developed by Bio-on will be a revolution in the eyewear industry and completely dovetail our unique approach to the market, as well as our desire to offer increasingly high quality and innovative products. In the luxury sector, sustainability and environmental awareness are no longer an option, they are a must.’

All PHAs developed by Bio-on are made from renewable plant sources with no competition with food supply chains. The company said the materials guaranteed the same thermo-mechanical properties as conventional plastics with the advantage of being 100% eco-sustainable and naturally biodegradable.