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Eco-friendly sunglasses at the beach

Eco-Friendly Sunglasses for Low-Impact Protection in the Wild

Much like our planet, our eyes are irreplaceable. We only get one chance to treat them right. It’s vital to wear eye protection when the sun is blazing. Whether that’s in everyday life, out on the trail, on the ski slopes or just enjoying some natural splendour in the great outdoors. Wearing sunglasses is an excellent way to promote healthy vision and shield your eyes from too much sun exposure. That said, many manufacturers make sunglasses with petroleum products that come from unsustainable sources. There are, however, some super-star brands that are producing eco-friendly sunglasses using sustainable methods.

From supporting social and environment initiatives to creating their shades with recycled, upcycled or sustainable materials, these brands are doing great things to the sunglasses market. And with a variety of styles available, we hope that there’s something for everyone in our round up of eco-friendly sunglasses.

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Warby Parker Barkley Sunglasses

Warby Parker Sunglasses

If you expected to see nothing but super-crunchy, obscure brands on this list, you’ll probably be excited to spot Warby Parker. This well-known and iconic brand takes its corporate social responsibility seriously. Their business plan is similar to that of TOMS Shoes: they make prescription glasses available for those who can’t afford them. Plus, Warby Parker constructs its eco-friendly sunglasses using ethical practices. Like many sustainable brands, they use acetate construction, which is much friendlier to our planet than plastic. It’s refreshing to see an industry leader setting the bar so high.

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Warby Parker


Ombraz Armless Classics Regular Sunglasses

Ombraz Armless Classics Regular Sunglasses

These stylish, armless shades by Ombraz are ideal for hat wearers and those who suffer from sunglasses induced headaches. The lack of arms also makes them way less susceptible to breaking – the perfect companion for wearing during action sports. They have resilient and flat frames that are made from cellulose acetate, like the Warby Parker shades. These polarised glasses are a no-brainer if you’re looking for durable and practical eco-friendly sunglasses that also look great. Plus, Ombraz plant 20 trees for every pair they sell.

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REI


Sunski Topeka Polarized Sunglasses

Sunski Topeka Polarized Sunglasses

With a forever warranty, polarized lenses and bags of style, there’s little about these shades to indicate they do the planet any favours. But looks can be deceiving. Sunski makes their shade frames out of recycled scrap plastic to create SuperLight. This is a polycarbonate resin that is, you guessed it, super lightweight! The glasses boast a rubber nose pad to keep them securely fixed to your face during high octane activities. Sunski are also a 1% For The Planet member.

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REI


Solo Eyewear India Sunglasses

Solo Eyewear India Sunglasses

Though bamboo has a reputation for sustainability, you might not expect to see bamboo sunglasses very often. However, the hands of skilled craftspeople can transform this elegant material into stylish, durable and sustainable accessories. Solo Eyewear uses repurposed bamboo, which has the added advantage of being biodegradable, to shape their line of socially conscious sunglasses. In addition to their bamboo shades, they offer a line of glasses made from recycled plastic. Additionally, Solo donates 10% of their profits to help those in need receive eye health treatments such as cataract surgery or get the corrective lenses they need to live life. This San Diego-based company is a brand you can feel good about sporting in public.

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Solo Eyewear


WOODZEE Imperial Skate Sunglasses

Woodzee Imperial Skateboard Sunglasses

Travel 10 hours North from the home of Solo Eyewear to find Woodzee Sunglasses, another sustainable sunglasses vendor located in the Northern California town of Chico. When we tell you Chico’s nickname is “City of Trees,” you won’t be surprised to learn this brand uses sustainably collected wood as the construction material for their biodegradable sunglasses. Some of their selections are ingenious, like wood recycled from the decks of old skateboards. That source isn’t going to harm the planet, and there are probably lots more decks out there that Woodzee can transform into their sustainable wooden sunglasses.

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Woodzee


Proof Eyewear Banks Eco Wood Sunglasses

Proof Eyewear Banks Eco Wood Sunglasses

Another brand that has taken recycled skateboard sunglasses to high fashion is Proof. This brand’s fashionable collection includes a long list of sustainably sourced materials. These include plant-sourced acetate, sustainably sourced wood and recycled aluminium. Proof has made their commitment to doing good the centrepiece of their marketing. The company shares 12% of their annual profits with humanitarian projects in places like Peru, Nepal, El Salvador, Uganda and the Philippines. They also make it easy for us consumers. Each product page on their website gives a breakdown of the sustainably sourced materials that go into a specific pair of glasses. It also includes additional information about how those specs contribute to the global community. For example, they donate $10 of every acetate pair of sunglasses sold to their empowerment programs around the world.

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Amazon


Grown Eyewear Lucy Ebony Revo Sunglasses

Grown Eyewear Lucy Ebony Revo Sunglasses

Focusing on the use of sustainable wood and bamboo, take a look at Grown. It is an Australian company that has committed to the cause of ocular health, as well as wildlife rescue and care. Every pair of Grown eyeglasses purchased funds sight-restoring surgery for one person or 12 diagnostic eye examinations for children through SEVA Canada. To date, the program has worked to restore sight to more than 3 million people, with operations in some of the world’s most impoverished locales like Nepal, Tibet, India, Madagascar, Guatemala and Egypt. Grown glasses come with a 100-day warranty and 180-degree accident coverage. So you can be proud of your contribution, but unafraid of another busted pair of shades.

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Grown Designs


Dex Shades Polarized Skateboard Wood Sunglasses

Dex Shades Polarized Skateboard Wood Sunglasses

If you’re after eco-friendly sunglasses that are truly unique then look no further than the Dex Shades Polarized Skateboard Wood Sunglasses. Handmade using wood that is recycled from old skateboards, the frames have variations in the wood grain, ensuring no two pairs are the same. But what really sets these skateboard shades apart from the other options on our list is that they float! The perfect summer shades for beach lovers, boaters, paddlers and swimmers. Additionally, Dex Shades further their commitment to sustainability by planting two trees for every pair that is sold.

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Amazon


Costa X Bureo Baffin Sunglasses

Costa x Bureo Baffin Sunglasses

What’s more environmentally friendly than breaking down old skateboards to make sunglasses? How about harvesting recycled fishing nets? Bureo does precisely that. They turn collected nets into small plastic pellets that they then re-form into stylish upcycled sunglasses. The company has named their Chile-based program “Net Positiva.” Bureo says they provide financial incentives to local communities to encourage the program, which helps remove nets that create 10% of the plastic pollution in our oceans today.

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REI | Amazon


Ozeano Balmoral Sunglasses

Ozeano Balmoral 100% Recycled Plastic Sunglasses

Ozeano founder Mark Cason decided to start his planet-friendly Australian eyewear company after he visited Cambodia and was shocked to see the large amount of plastic that littered the beaches there. On the same visit, he partnered with a local man to help clean the beaches. The man, named Heng, suffered from cataracts. So Cason chose to partner with the Fred Hollows Foundation, which helps restore vision for people in need. Ozeano makes its sustainable polarized sunglasses from 100% recycled plastic. They come in a protective case made from recycled bamboo, and include an organic cotton pouch. It doesn’t get much more people and planet-friendly than that.

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Ozeano


Zeal Boone Polarized Sunglasses

Zeal Boone Polarized Sunglasses

Uniquely created with Z-Resin that is derived from the castor plant, the Zeal Boone Polarized Sunglasses are the perfect shades for active adventurers. They are also one of the few options are our list of eco-friendly sunglasses that also use sustainable materials in their lenses. Designed with low weight and strength in mind, the polarized lenses are made from a plant-based polymer that is impact resistant as well as protective. A high performing, low impact option.

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REI


Vinylize Morton Sunglasses

Vinylize Morton Sunglasses

What better accessory could there be for an audiophile than a pair of shades handmade from recycled, unplayable vinyl records? They’re prescription ready and, like the Dex Shades Skateboard Sunglasses, no two pairs will ever be the same thanks to the unique pattern of the grooves. They’re not for the faint of heart, but if you’re looking for some glasses that’ll make a statement and help promote sustainability at the same time, you’ve found your niche.

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Vinylize


Make the switch

It’s remarkable to see the different ways in which companies craft eyewear using the things we’d normally throw away, or through new methods that don’t harm our planet. It’s just as difficult to understand how any of the eco-friendly sunglasses on this list are somehow lesser to more traditional brands. With that in mind, when you’re old shades have given up the ghost, how’s about considering switching to a more socially and environmentally conscious pair?

#bethechange

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