Created to empower brands, manufacturers and designers, the bow Index is an industry-focused tool that overviews bbase’s comparative research into sustainable materials.

With over 4 billion people wearing eyewear made from virgin materials, for bbase, a big factor in their sustainability mission is championing responsible materials for the manufacturing of eyewear.

“We’ve invested in making our processes purposeful and a big part of that includes digging into the materials we are inspired by. So much of our discussions with partners has been around knowledge-building about materials. Delivering on this need without the sacrifice of producing beautiful product is what we are about. We want to share with and learn from those who are walking the same path to figuring out sustainability in the fashion industry.”Jo-Black, CEO of bbase Design Group

How does The bow Index work?

The bow Index consolidates information on several recycled and biodegradable materials across sustainability-focused criteria.

These materials are shown in comparison to traditional eyewear materials that are normally used in the eyewear industry.

 How was The bow Index created?

To create the Index, the team at bbase designed a point system for each criteria, in which materials score within a specified range.

The initial criteria were chosen based on the categories that were measurable by absolute values.

Vetted information from bbase’s GRS-certified factory partners and raw material suppliers inform the Index. 

What materials are included in the Index and how are they labelled?

For its launch, the Index consolidated information and applied experience for the following certified sustainable materials:

•   r22 – recycled PET
•   r32 – recycled polycarbonate
•   r38 – recycled acrylic
•   r43 – recycled acetate (physical recycling)
•   r45 – recycled acetate (chemical recycling)
•   r46 – recycled tritan
•   r49 – recycled copper
•   b31 and b33 – biodegradable acetate
•   b42 – biodegradable wheat straw

The codes indicate r (for recycled) and b (for biodegradable).

The numbers correspond to the order of when the team started R&D into a particular material.

bbase started the Index based on the most popular sustainable materials they were using in the business.

Currently, bbase is researching and testing over 50 materials for the Index.

What are the criteria included in the Index?

•    Sustainable Certifications – Is a material certified and traceable?
•    Product Lifespan – How much wear and tear can the material sustain over time?
•    DEP Content – Does the material contain DEP or not?
•    BPA Content – Does the material contain BPA or not?
•    Recycled Material Content – What % of the raw material is from recycled sources
•    Biodegradability  – How quickly does a material biodegrade?
•    Material Efficiency & Performance – Is the material production-friendly?

bbase commits to expanding and developing the Index across further criteria and materials.

“This is just the beginning of the Index. We intend to grow and develop the Index with more materials and categories that focus on GHG emissions, ethical sourcing, energy usage and more. We also plan to include more component materials so we are looking at eyewear materials in a holistic manner.”Jo-Black, CEO of bbase Design Group

All updates about the Index will be published on, a free resource to all.

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