7 Reasons to Buy Independent Eyewear
- Quality. When you buy independent, you're paying for the quality of the product, not just a brand name. Smaller, independent brands rely fully on their reputation. The quality and creativity that goes into their products is integral to this and ultimately their success and provides a superior product for the customer... In contrast, profits are paramount to large umbrella companies such Luxottica, where high margins and cost effective, mechanised production methods are implemented as standard. As a result, product quality falls by the wayside, which means using cheaper plastics, lower-grade metals and less resilient lenses.
- Craftmanship. Sunglasses are beautiful objects. They are a luxury item to be enjoyed and deserve to be crafted with skill, precision and care by people who know what they are doing. They're worn on your face after all, so nothing but the best should do! Italian independent label L.G.R for example, utilise hand-craftmanship and traditional methods to make all of their frames and can trace each of their pieces back to one of three artisanal families for a superior feel and finish.
- Choice. When it comes to the luxury eyewear market at large - choice is often an illusion. Luxottica owns or licences 80% of the brands that fill the high street & airport retailers. That includes; Ray-Ban, Oakley, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Chanel, Prada, Versace, Paul Smith and many others. One of the main retailers is of course Sunglass Hut... and guess who owns that!
- Creativity. This false illusion of choice and monopoly of the market has the knock-on effect of stifling creativity and progression within the industry as designers are limited by the need to work with cost effective materials and tried and tested designs. In contrast, independent brands are not restricted by such concerns and are able to utilise the materials they desire and act on their own creative impulses, creating more choice for their customer and a more exciting and unique final product. You only have to look at the amazingly colourful acetates used by Taylor and Morris or the beautiful wooden frames of Finlay & Co. to appreciate this.
- Authenticity. Much of the time, the designer or fashion house whose name adorns a corporately owned product have very little to do with the actual design or manufacturing of the eyewear (if at all), raising a key question about authenticity and value for money.
- Passion. Your purchase supports independent labels who are passionate about what they do, rather than publicly traded companies whose main priorities are the shareholder bonuses at the end of the year.
- Individuality. Your choice of eyewear is key to expressing your personality and style. No-one likes bumping into someone (or many people) wearing their outfit, let alone an investment like shades! Take the time to find something that is more original and suited to your style, face and character - it makes all the difference.
For more info, check out the article from Forbes below ‘Luxottica sees itself as king...’