Thinking Sustainably About Those Eclipse Glasses

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, April 10, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Monday’s solar eclipse was a once-in-20-years natural phenomenon that left millions of Americans with a sense of wonder and excitement—and with a pair of eclipse glasses that they have no idea what to do with. With two decades to go until the next major eclipse here in North America, holding onto the protective glasses might not make sense (though, as USA Today reports, modern eclipse glasses don’t expire, according to the American Astronomical Society), but, thankfully, there are a few ways to recycle or repurpose eclipse glasses that are both sustainably-minded and helpful to others.

Indies Celebrate World Optometry Day

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, April 4, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—The week of March 17–23, 2024 was World Optometry Week, culminating in World Optometry Day on March 23. With the theme “Advancing Optometry’s Commitment to Global Eye Care,” World Optometry Day aims to shine an annual spotlight on the profession of optometry and the contribution of optometrists worldwide to increasing access to eye health care as a human right, as reported in VMAIL. Here, we’re recapping how some independent optometrists across the country celebrated their profession’s special day.

This Allergy Season Is Worse Than Before; Still, We Can Get Through It

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, March 29, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Spring officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere mid-March, and it brought allergy season with it. The 2024 allergy season is expected to start earlier and potentially feel worse than other years; The New York Times reports, “Spring allergy seasons are beginning about 20 days earlier than they had, according to an analysis of pollen count data from 60 stations across North America from 1990 to 2018.” But why, and what does that mean for those of us who suffer from sneezing, itching and coughing every Spring?

This Year’s Official Earth Day Theme Is ‘Planet vs. Plastic’

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, March 28, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—There is less than a month to go until Earth Day, April 22, giving us all plenty of time to prepare for the holiday. This year, the official Earth Day theme is “Planet vs. Plastics,” an initiative dedicated to demanding a 60 percent reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040. This goal is something the eyewear industry is already getting on board with, as more and more eyewear manufacturers switch to bio-acetates and other natural materials in place of traditional plastics.

Indies Take on New York for Vision Expo East

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, March 21, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Last week, the optical community descended on New York City for Vision Expo East, the show’s final edition in the Big Apple before it heads to Orlando beginning in 2025. In addition to the thousands of ECPs, buyers, students and sellers, Vision Expo East 2024 showcased the second annual NOW Awards, over 450 exhibitors and more than 200 education sessions. As reported in VMAIL, Fran Pennella, vice president, Vision Expo at RX, said, “We could not be happier to close out our final show in New York City on such a high note." As we set our sights on Las Vegas for Vision Expo West in September, and Orlando for 2025, let’s take a look back at how some Indies spent their last Vision Expo East in New York.

The Vision Council’s Newest inSights Report Shows Consumers’ Thoughts About Sustainable Eyewear

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, March 11, 2024 8:30 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Vision Council released new research featuring key insights into U.S. consumers’ experiences and preferences when purchasing frames for new glasses. Findings from the report, “Focused inSights 2024 Frame Trends,” underscore the diversity in eyewear preferences and purchase behaviors, highlighting opportunities for the optical industry to tailor product offerings and marketing strategies to meet consumer preferences. Notably, the report showcased just how much consumers value sustainable products and practices.

Indies at SECO Enjoy Optometric Education and Networking

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, March 7, 2024 8:30 AM ATLANTA—On March 3, SECO 2024 closed its five-day annual event of optometric education. As reported in VMAIL, the event, which featured special sessions, breakfast symposiums, hot topic breakfasts, awards events and an exhibit hall featuring more than 160 exhibitors, welcomed thousands of ECPs here. From executives to education professionals to tech experts to ODs, SECO 2024 created a hub for optometric minds.

World Wildlife Day Reminds ECPs About the Importance of Protecting the Environment

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, March 4, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—When we think about sustainability in our industry, we think about the obvious things: bio-acetates and recycled metals, reducing water usage and collecting contact lens blister packaging for recycling, motion sensor lights in the office, and reducing consumption wherever possible. But sustainability, in the bigger picture, is not about limiting ourselves to what impacts us directly—there are countless other ways to get involved with protecting and promoting our environment.

Welcome, Women’s History Month

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, March 1, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—In 1978, in California, The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women planned the first-ever Women’s History Week, the National Museum of Women’s History reports. Organizers chose the week of March 8 to line up with International Women’s Day, an already established holiday, and, from there, the holiday grew. It was in 1981, according to the Library of Congress, that Congress first passed Pub. L. 97-28, which authorized and requested then-President Ronald Reagan to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982, as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987, the National Women’s History Project petitioned Congress to pass Pub. L. 100-9, which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.”

Transitions Academy Brings Indies Together in Florida

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, February 21, 2024 8:30 AM ORLANDO, Fla.—From February 11 through 14, hundreds of ECPs gathered here for the 2024 edition of Transitions Academy. In front of more than 1,300 attendees from around the world, Chrystel Barranger, president, Transitions Optical, and president, EssilorLuxottica Wholesale EMEA, announced the launch of Transitions Gen S, as reported in VMAIL from Academy. In addition to this major product launch, the three-day event included breakout educational sessions, a brand experience and a number of networking opportunities. Here, we’re taking a look at a snapshot of Transitions Academy through the eyes of independent ECPs who were on-site.

A Newer, Faster Way to Diagnose and Treat Eye Stroke at Mount Sinai’s N.Y. Eye and Ear Infirmary

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, February 16, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Eye stroke, or central retinal artery occlusion, happens when the main artery that supplies blood to the retina is blocked, typically by a clot, depriving the retina of oxygen. Often categorized by painless, sudden loss of vision in one eye, it is similar to a stroke in the brain and can lead to permanent vision loss if the clot is not dissolved as soon as possible. At New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE), though, ophthalmologists have created a novel protocol to rapidly diagnose eye stroke and expedite care to prevent this potentially irreversible vision loss. Based on a recent study, the protocol describes using high-resolution retinal imaging in the emergency room along with rapid remote consultation to confirm diagnosis and expedite care.

Mido Presents Sustainability Awards at the 2024 Show

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, February 14, 2024 8:30 AM MILAN—Mido presented three major awards at its 2024 edition: the BeStore Award, the Stand Up For Green Award and the CSE – Certified Sustainable Eyewear Award. All three, which were presented at the OTTICLUB with Mido president Giovanni Vitaloni and radio host Petra Loreggian, awarded sustainable practices. First was the BeStore Award for Design which went to Anaïs Murith’s LENETA - Concept Store Optique, a Swiss optical center, for its combination of beauty, retro appeal, contemporary aesthetics and responsible selling.

ECPs Head to Milan for Mido

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, February 8, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK and MILAN, Italy—Over 40,000 people headed to Milan this month for the 2024 edition of Mido. The show welcomed visitors from over 160 countries—including many Americans who made the trek across the Atlantic to take a look at Italian eyewear up close and personal. Mido organizers reported a major success this year, with an 11 percent gain in visitors over last year and an active presence overall. Mido president Giovanni Vitaloni said, “Prior to the show opening, we had hoped for an increase in visitors compared to last year. Thanks to everyone’s efforts and the industry’s trust in us each year, we achieved the ambitious goal we had set for ourselves." Here, we’re taking a look at how some ECPs spent their time in Milan.

Millennials Are Now in Power

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Sunday, February 4, 2024 12:55 AM x

Gen(eration) Z, Growing Up as Digital Natives

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Sunday, February 4, 2024 12:54 AM Born between 1996 and 2010, Gen Z has grown up in a digital world—and a world informed by a warming climate, an ever-changing economic outlook and, of course, COVID-19. McKinsey cites Gen Zers as some of the first “digital natives,” those who have grown up with the internet as a part of their everyday lives. Few would remember life before WiFi. Still, Gen Z is a wide-ranging demographic: some young Gen Zers are still in middle school, while the oldest of the bunch may have homes, kids and careers. What brings Gen Z together is the things they care about.