Sunglasses are a summer essential. Of course, aside from doing its job of protecting our eyes from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, these stylish sustainable and ethical sunglasses just make you look effortlessly cool. Whether made from recycled materials, reclaimed wood, bamboo, and cork, the following eyewear brands are without a doubt better for the planet.
In the market for a trendy pair of eco sunnies? Here are 12 brands you have to check out…
1. Grown Eyewear
Grown Eyewear produces eco-friendly sunglasses styles for women, men and children. All sunglasses are handcrafted from wood and bamboo that are sustainably-sourced from FSC-certified forests. Each pair of sunglasses is unique as no two grains of wood are ever the same. In addition, the sunglasses are also 33% lighter than similar-sized plastic eyewear making them easy to carry These eco-conscious sunglasses are priced from $169 and $75 for kids. Visit its online boutique and see whether there’s a style to suit you.
Proof sustainable sunglasses are crafted from plant-based acetate and sustainably sourced finest wood that 100% biodegradable. They are also stylish, durable and lightweight and come with a beautiful wooden cover to keep your eco sunglasses safe. The brand manufactures styles for both men and women.
Established in 2010 by three brothers from Idaho, Proof Eyewear aims to embrace the idea of being global citizens by doing good around the world and making a difference. They stand for sustainability, heritage, and giving back by partnering with NGOs that help people who are suffering from cataracts. In fact, they willingly share 12% of their annual profits on projects in Nepal, El Salvador, Uganda, and the Philippines. Prefer your sunnies to minimise its eco footprint and create positive social impact? Check out Proof here: www.iwantproof.com
3. Dick Moby
This Amsterdam-based eyewear brand creates a range of beautifully handcrafted eco-friendly sunglasses and eyeglasses. Generally made from bio-plastic acetate, their sunglasses are designed to be unique and trendy. Dick Moby eyewear features certified lenses by ZEISS and contains anti-scratch and anti-reflection coating with maximum UV400 protection lens. To make it sturdy and increase durability, it is supported by strong five-barrel hinges with free recycled leather hard case. And not only does the conscious eyewear brand uses eco-friendly materials but it also gives 10% of revenues to organizations that curb plastic pollution.
One of the bestselling sunglasses of Dick Morby is the YVR. Its frames are thin, yet curvy and inspired by the Vancouver’s Islands coastline. Check out its entire collection of eco-friendly designer sunglasses here.
4. Warby Parker
Buy these ethically-made sunglasses and hit three birds with one stone: quality, practicality and socially impactful. They also pioneered the unique “home try-on” idea, in which you can select up to five pairs of sunglasses styles from their website and then you can try out at home, order the ones you like and post the rest back. The company also donate a pair of glasses to anyone in need for every pair of sunglasses sold. Consciously cool isn’t it? You don’t just get value for money but you also lend a helping hand. To browse Warby Parker’s range of ethical sunglasses visit warbyparker.com.
5. Sticks & Sparrow
This Australian ethical sunglasses brand combines creativity and craftsmanship, creating designer sunglasses from eco materials such as bamboo, reclaimed wood, and cork. Sticks & Sparrow also have scratch-resistant lenses with 100% UV protection and plant-based acetate fronts that are fused with bamboo temples. Meanwhile, the harvested cork is wrapped around the temples to provide comfort. Some of the sunglasses are also accented with classic tortoise-shell. The brand’s use of cork also gets a tick. Cork is extracted from the bark of a tree and is naturally water-resistant and biodegradable – the ideal material for the style-loving environmentalists.
The ethical eyewear brand aims to continuously improve its manufacturing processes, always seeking ways to incorporate sustainable materials in all their products and reduce waste to help preserve the planet. Check out their trendy eco-stylish sunglasses here.
6. ‘ECO’ Sunglasses by Modo
The ‘ECO’ sunglasses collection by Modo is designer eyewear with a conscience. Some of the frames of its ‘ECO’ range are made from 95% recycled materials and others are 63% bio-based, USDA certified materials. Purchase from this New York-based brand and you’ll be helping the brand plant a tree for every frame sold. To date, the brand has planted more than 1.4 million trees in partnership with Trees for the Future. The brand’s sleek and modern eco sunglasses are ideal for professionals and city dwellers. To view Modo’s entire eco-friendly range of sunglasses click here.
7. Finlay & Co.
Finlay & Co. sunglasses are handcrafted in Italy from high quality materials. The London ethical sunglasses brand only uses the finest quality wood for frames which you can engrave with your name or initials using their bespoke engraving service. It produces a range of sunglasses styles for both men and women. So whether you’re after sleek and rounded frames, vintage inspired lenses or just a stylish ethical pair of sunglasses that offer the ultimate in UVA/UVB protection, make sure to include Finlay & Co. in your ethical sunnies search by visiting finlayandco.com.
8. Solo Eyewear
Solo Eyewear houses a wide array of eco-friendly eyewear handmade from repurposed bamboo; which is a popular material for sustainable sunglasses as we know as it’s long-lasting, lightweight, and moisture-resistant and biodegradable. The other range is made from recycled plastic with some accented with tortoise-shell colouring and acetate frames.
Based in San Diego, Solo eco eyewear also donates 10% of their profits to those who have eye conditions such as cataract surgeries as well as those who need eye exams and glasses. The brand truly lives up to its motto: “One idea. One person. One action can change the world.” The best part is that these eco sunglasses are affordable, with prices starting at $59 and the brand offering free shipping in the US. Browse the eco sunnies range here.
9. Panda Sunglasses
Stylish and lightweight Panda sunglasses are made from sustainable bamboo. They have polarized lenses that can protect you from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. What its clients love about the brand is not just its eco credentials but that Panda eyewear donates a certain amount to those people in need by giving a “Gift of Vision” that provides eye exam and eyeglasses to those who need them. Panda Sunglasses also fund the optometry schools and clinics around the globe. Think you’d like to wear Panda? Then browse the collections at wearpanda.com.
10. Woodzee Sunglasses
Based in Chico, California, Woodzee homes a bunch of lavish sunglasses that comes in frames of different shapes and colors — made from biodegradable materials such as wood and bamboo. One of their popular eco-friendly sunglasses is the Alpine Recycled Skateboard Polarized Sunglasses where its frames are made from recycled maple wood skateboard deck. The sunglasses have stainless steel spring-loaded hinges and come with a case made from a recycled circle paper base. Want to take a closer peek? Visit woodzee.com.
11. Swell Vision
Swell Vision sunglasses have 100% bamboo frames and the bamboo is also sustainably-sourced. These eco-friendly sunglasses also feature multi-layer polarized lenses and anti-reflective coating making comfortable and functional. The brand is a family-owned purpose-driven American business with a simple mission: to create sustainable sunglasses that also give back. In Swell’s case, the brand offers tuition-free education to underprivileged Balinese children by partnering with world-renowned sustainable education program Green School. Visit swellvision.com to learn about their sunglasses and their social mission.
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Title image: Warby Parker