Who is… KOMONO?
KOMONO brings innovation and contemporary design to the world of accessories. With its inspired style, surprising color palette and forward-thinking aesthetic, KOMONO has succeeded in pushing limits for over ten years. Founded in 2009 in Belgium by ex-professional snowboarders Anton Janssens and Raf Maes, KOMONO breaks convention and presents a fresh, new proposition.
Be it sunglasses, eyewear accessories, opticals, watches or even ski masks, KOMONO embraces the experimental and offers a glimpse of the future in the here and now. KOMONO feels a keen sense of responsibility towards people and planet, and – in keeping with the brand’s identity – does not hesitate to innovate to minimize its impact on the environment.
Since its inception, KOMONO has been exploring sustainable material alternatives, that is: materials that require less non-renewable resources and that result in a smaller carbon footprint. In 2017, KOMONO launched the first carbon-neutral eyewear, NeutrØ. Doing pioneering work, the brand had its fair share of challenges, but the team is proud to have introduced innovative solutions such as recycled acetate and eco-acetate for their eyewear collections, and vegan leather and recycled nylon for their watch collection. And things get even better, because KOMONO will be switching completely to sustainable materials for its spring-summer 2022 collection.
Both for its products and packaging, KOMONO strives to find the right balance between rich design and a minimalist and highly efficient design approach. The brand opts for monomaterials, which facilitate recycling or reuse at the end of the product lifecycle. The KOMONO team makes the most out of the raw materials they use, designing to optimize their resources and reduce waste.
KOMONO only does business with manufacturers who share the brand’s values. Every KOMONO partner adheres to a strict code of conduct and is subject to yearly social audits by an external party that makes sure the KOMONO standards are met. The design and production teams, who have a very close relationship with each manufacturer, also visit the factories a few times per year. KOMONO is all about long-term partnerships, some of which have been going strong for over a decade. In this respect as well, the brand keeps pushing boundaries to ensure even more transparency, to make continuous improvements and to further reduce its impact on the environment.
In the last two years, KOMONO has completely redesigned its packaging and displays, using more eco-friendly materials and optimizing their sizing, so that the products are currently shipped in packaging that is as small as possible. KOMONO has also replaced its single-use plastic wraps by a more sustainable alternative that can even be composted at home. Since 2021, the brand has been using FSC-certified paper for all its shopping bags and paper packaging.
By providing care instructions for every product, the brand helps customers enjoy their purchases even longer. KOMONO offers a smooth after-care service, educating customers on how to take care of their favorite accessories while also assisting them with repairs.
KOMONO wants all of its creations to find a home – and another one after that. The brand has already established an end-of-life program with trusted partners to make sure that all its items will be reused but is currently also considering the option of a second and third life for its products. To be continued!
What challenges are you currently facing?
Larose: “As the majority of our production takes place in Asia, we are always faced with the dilemma of keeping a lean stock, using the least-polluting transportation mode and still being sufficiently fast to market.”
What does sustainability mean for you?
Marie-Pier Larose: “For KOMONO, working sustainably means being able to bring great and innovative designs to market while respecting the environment and all the people involved, from a product’s conception to its production. Sustainability is a mindset, not a trend. It is an ongoing journey.”
Which lesson(s) do you want to share?
Larose: “We understood that we shouldn’t wait to be perfect to start communicating about the steps we take towards becoming more sustainable. Making changes takes time, but by staying humble about the fact that we are not perfect and by sharing each step of our sustainability journey with our audience, we believe we can already start to make a difference.”
This page was created in July 2021. Curious to find out where KOMONO stands now? Feel free to get in touch with them via firstname.lastname@example.org!