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Green-powered vision: Reinhard Mahr

With a comprehensive approach to design, wearing comfort and optical perfection as well as a passion for innovation and sustainability, Reinhard Mahr of Silhouette Group is maintaining the company’s leading position in the eyewear industry.

Reinhard Mahr

It’s far from a secret that consumers of today have extremely high expectations of the businesses they purchase from. Not only is quality and personal service now seen as the norm, but customers also want companies to operate sustainably.

Meeting these expectations is a major challenge for firms in all industries, but premium eyewear company Silhouette Group has gone the extra mile to guarantee customers get exactly what they want.

For 60 years, the Silhouette Group has been able to offer customers eyewear of exceptional quality that is designed and fully manufactured by the company. Since 2017, Silhouette Group is also able to precision-make lenses – the most important part of any pair of glasses – to match the frames exactly.

“All of our brands offer premium eyewear that is known for its unparalleled wearing comfort. Our eyewear undergoes more than a hundred quality controls to ensure it meets the highest standards. We are a full-service provider of premium eyewear and combine lenses, frames and service into an inseparable unit,” explains Reinhard Mahr, CEO of Silhouette Group.

Silhouette Group design sketch

“We are the one major player that is taking this holistic approach to eyewear.”

As an independent and family-owned business, Silhouette Group focuses on creating eyewear aimed at people who value quality, high-grade materials and strong design elements.

“We are the one major player that is taking this holistic approach to eyewear. Our goal is to create a perfect piece of complete eyewear that is fully designed by us,” he says.

Innovation is at the core of Silhouette Group, with this forward-thinking approach evident within all eyewear produced by the company.

Select partnerships

For Silhouette Group to maintain an industry-leading product offering, it’s essential to select distribution partners who share the same vision. If a company wants to qualify as a supply chain partner, it must sign the Supplier Code of Conduct. The company strictly audits each supplier to ensure compliance with all legal requirements and adherence to its own standards.

“We have a very deep value chain, as we source raw materials and hardly any semi-finished products, because we do everything ourselves in our Austrian plant to really live up to this claim of high quality and reliability,” Mahr says.

Silhouette Group headquarters

“We attach great importance to ensuring complete transparency in the supply chain.”

The guidelines and standards set by Silhouette Group make it relatively difficult to find options for backup suppliers, which makes it even more important to build strong relationships with key partners.

Clear guidelines and KPIs for suppliers around sustainability are shared, alongside continual audits through documents, reviews and on-site checks. Mahr places a great focus on stability, sustainability and CSR in the entire organization and for its partners.

“For us, social ethics, ecological standards and compliance are very important in our supply chain,” Mahr explains. “We attach importance to ensuring complete transparency in the supply chain, which is why we established a number of specifications.”

Global outlook

Sustainable growth, paired with expansion into selected markets across the globe, is what Mahr is planning for Silhouette Group in the near future. The evil eye premium sportswear brand is currently moving into the United States market, with the core Silhouette brand rapidly growing its market share in China and across the Middle East.

While heading toward a more selective distribution network, Mahr and his team are also working to permanently increase the company’s geographical footprint.

“It’s premium positioning and selective distribution in the best sense of the word,” Mahr affirms. “The target is to inform consumers about the values of our products, but also about the requirements they have when they make their choice at the retail store and at the optician.”

Silhouette Group eyewear

“The power we need in our factories is partly covered by solar electricity, which comes from our own power plant.”

As part of this journey, Mahr is increasingly looking for direct contact with consumers to share excitement for his mission and also share knowledge the business has to those who would benefit from it the most.

The advanced manufacturing facility in Linz, Austria significantly contributes to the value Silhouette Group generates in Europe.

“The power we need in our factories is partly covered by solar electricity, which comes from our own power plant,” says Mahr. “This location gives us a lot of benefits that translate to ultimately benefiting consumers and our partners.”

Sustainability and innovation remain at the heart of Silhouette Group, with Mahr setting the ambitious aim of becoming carbon neutral without offsetting by 2027.

Currently, Silhouette Group purchases exclusively carbon-neutral, sustainable green electricity, and also generates its own electricity by putting photovoltaic power plants on all of its facility roofs.

Thanks to these efforts, more than 1.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity are produced each year.

Continuing to play a leading role in the premium eyewear market and offering customers the bespoke products they expect are not easy tasks. But Silhouette Group’s focus on innovation will help ensure they stay ahead of competitors who lack the same vision.