The Berlin-based company was founded in 2003 in the premises of a former day-care centre (KITA). It all started with the slim stainless steel frames whose USP is a screw-free joint, which MyKita directly patented. To this day, the slim metal frame glasses are the company’s bestseller and account for around 70% of all glasses sold. In the meantime, MyKita also produces glasses made of cellulose acetate and Mylon – a self-developed material that gets its shape in a 3D printing process. The employees in production are mainly trained goldsmiths and dental technicians, but also people from very different fields. About 250,000 pairs of glasses are produced annually. At a price of at least 300 euros per pair, this means an annual turnover of over seven million euros.
The eyeglass manufacturer’s house is located in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district. The inhomogeneous neighbourhood is characterised by different typologies and types of use. Block perimeter developments, high-rise residential buildings, courtyard buildings and listed commercial buildings and in the immediate vicinity are the consequences of an unstructured building policy of post-war modernism.
As a representative of the two storeys of production, we have chosen the northernmost corner of the ground floor as the basis for the interior analysis. The space, which is both an intermediate storage area and a packing station as well as a location for bending the spectacle fronts, can speak for the overall atmosphere of the production. Overall, there is a relaxed working atmosphere. The listed building creates a homely atmosphere.
After the visit to MyKita, we were able to identify the suppliers of the eyewear parts and, in a further analysis, tried to trace the supply chain back to the raw materials. The stainless steel manufacturer from Sweden stands for extreme transparency. The company pays attention to high recycling rates and thus only manages to degrade 15% of its raw materials, while 85% have already had a previous use phase. The cellulose acetate is sourced from a traditional company in Italy near Milan. This company also sets high quality standards; the cotton is sourced from Spain and processed into cellulose powder in Italy. CR39 – a plastic used to make the plan glasses consists of a wide variety of raw materials. The main components are crude oil, natural gas, coal and natural rubber. We derived the countries of origin from export and import figures for Europe and came up with Russia, Norway and Thailand as the main suppliers. The supply chain shows that Made in Germany or Manufactured in Germany does not mean that all production steps were carried out here. However, it is amazing that the supply chain of our MyKita glasses can still be located quite locally in Europe for today’s global networks. Only the spectacle cases are completely manufactured in China.
Supply Chain, Work processes, Sustainability
Technical University of Berlin
Supervisor: Prof. Jacob van Rijs
Chair: Design and Construction
Team: Thalia Budin, Caro Gruhn