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Safilo eliminating palladium use in new sustainability deal

Global eyewear manufacturer and distributor Safilo is continuing to progress its sustainability agenda, following a strategic partnership with Coventya, which develops specialty chemicals for surface finishing treatments.

As a result of the collaboration, Safilo will be the first player in the eyewear sector to exclusively use ‘Metal X’, a new Coventya patent that reduces the use of precious metals in galvanic treatments in optical frames production by 90%.

Specifically, ‘Metal X’ will be introduced at Safilo’s Longarone plant in Italy, and will allow the company to significantly reduce the use of the rare metal palladium.

Metal X will be used in Safilo’s eyewear collections produced in Italy starting with the August 2021 release.

The use of the material in Safilo’s production processes represents a further step forward in its sustainable production processes initiated in recent years with nickel-free galvanic treatments.

With these processes, the group said it has eliminated the use of nickel, a silvery-white metal traditionally employed in the finishing treatments of eyewear, while guaranteeing higher standards of product excellence thanks to the new technologies employed.

“The partnership with Coventya is particularly strategic for Safilo as it allows us to be the first to introduce a new and effective sustainable solution in our eyewear production processes,” Mr Fabio Roppoli, Safilo Group chief product supply office, said.

“By eliminating palladium in favour of Metal X, we take a further step forward in our business strategies focused on sustainability and we are sure that this innovation will be appreciated by our customers and consumers, who are increasingly concerned about these issues.”

Coventya international product manager Ms Coline Nelias added: “It was particularly significant for us to be able to create a material that offered the same qualitative and technical properties as palladium and could be used in replacement of natural precious metals.

“Thanks to this collaboration, our patent has been introduced in the galvanic baths of Longarone effectively and with high-quality standards.”

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