The 3D-printed biobased opticals inspired by French cinema

Three new sustainable styles draw on the sultry French Riviera setting of Schneider’s 1969 thriller La Piscine

Neubau glasses frame
(Image credit: TBC)

Côte Du Soleil – the latest collection from eyewear brand neubau – addresses desire and detail in equal measure. In part-homage to the Austrian born actress Romy Schneider, three handsome new styles draw on the sultry French Riviera setting of Schneider’s 1969 thriller La Piscine

Named Romy, Alain and Maurice, the frames channel the glow of a languid, Hitchcockian summer and are 3D printed in a 100 per cent biobased material. ‘The French 1960s are a symbol for change, especially when it comes to aesthetics,’ Eva Reisinger, neubau’s senior international marketing manager says. ‘It was bold, free, nonchalant. Freedom is the key word when it comes to working with 3D printing too – there are no boundaries, just endless opportunities. And zero waste.’

hand holding glasses frames

(Image credit: TBC)

Since 2016, the brand – which is an offshoot of the Silhouette International group – has advocated more sustainable production methods within the eyewear market. We’re confronted with a deluge of plastic waste on a daily basis (the proliferation of PPE clogging the seas is a new worry for environmental campaigners) and so the design team took on the challenge to develop an alternative to the regular raw oil base without compromising on quality. They developed a material that is not genetically modified, nor does it occur in the food chain of animals or humans: ‘It uses oil extracted from the seeds of the castor oil plant which is then turned into a polyamide powder. This powder is merged together layer by layer by a laser during the printing process and excess material is reused for additional prints,’ Reisinger says. It takes around 24-hours to produce up to 400 ‘raw’ frames. 

‘Considering sustainability and social responsibility should be the new standard. The whole Covid crisis gives us additional tailwind to follow our strategy without compromise,’ Reisinger says. ‘The fashion industry is the second biggest polluter on earth and that definitely has to change. Wearing sustainable products shouldn´t just be the right thing to do – it should be the most attractive thing to do.’ 


London based writer Dal Chodha is editor-in-chief of Archivist Addendum — a publishing project that explores the gap between fashion editorial and academe. He writes for various international titles and journals on fashion, art and culture and is a contributing editor at Wallpaper*. Chodha has been working in academic institutions for more than a decade and is Stage 1 Leader of the BA Fashion Communication and Promotion course at Central Saint Martins. In 2020 he published his first book SHOW NOTES, an original hybrid of journalism, poetry and provocation.