About the company
Born at the end of 2016, Friendly Frenchy designs and markets eyewear made from recycled shells. Based in Auray (Morbihan) since this summer, supported by BPI France innovation, it has developed two manufacturing processes for these iodised spectacle frames, made in France.
At the helm of the young company are Sandrine Guyot and Laurent Pezé. The first, aged 40, has written a thesis on sustainable development and sport; the second, aged 37, has worked in the world of event gastronomy in particular. "We wanted to get closer to the sea, our element. We wanted to create a brand linked to this French, committed seaside. As eco-responsible as possible," explain the two managers.
The idea? "To make sunglasses in a different way", by working on "a waste product". The ancestors of Sandrine Guyot were shell traders for the tableware and marquetry, who used mother-of-pearl. Hence the idea of making glasses from shells. "With 250,000 tonnes a year, France is the leading producer and consumer of shellfish in Europe," Laurent Pezé recalls.
Two ranges of spectacles From raw materials to finished products, "we've gone back up the spectacle industry", Sandrine Guyot continues. A long phase of research and development has begun in order to develop the "bio-sourced" material, based on crushed shells. The material combines up to 30% shells with a plant-based binder.
Two ranges of glasses are created. Unveiled at the beginning of 2018, the first ("Beach" collection) includes frames made by injection moulding, Sandrine Guyot and Laurent Pezé, the creators of Friendly Frenchy. glasses with shells from the food industry. The first production was launched thanks to a participatory fundraising campaign on Ulule. Today marketed, they are partly produced in Oyonnax (Ain), "one of the eyewear industry's basins in France".
Launched this summer, Solarmor (around twenty models), the second range, is handmade, with the label Origine France Garantie in a top-of-the-range workshop located in the Yonne.
For the shells, the company obtains its supplies directly from producers and fishermen. "The shells are collected, cleaned, valorised and dried", with a traceability system for the shells. The names of the frames often reflect their origin of the basic material: oyster from Cancale, Saint-Jacques de Trouville, etc.
In addition to the Friendly Frenchy website, the glasses are marketed by about sixty opticians, a number "that grows every day". And by "committed eco-responsible and/or Made in France concept stores".