Conventional sunglasses are often made from non-biodegradable plastic and metal (with a side serving of toxic paints), making them hard to recycle, contributing to polluting the environment. And with the rise of sunglasses in fast fashion, that are cheap (but nasty) and more often end up in landfill; sunglasses can be anything but sustainable.
Thankfully, though, there’s a brighter future on the horizon with stylish, high-quality sustainable sunglasses options emerging that use eco-friendly materials and modern innovations in ethical eyewear.
Delve into our round-up of eight inspiring and sustainable sunglasses brands positively impacting slow fashion and ethical eyewear trends.
With a modern rock’n’roll aesthetic, CHILDE redefines what contemporary slow fashion and sustainable sunglasses can be. Designed in Byron Bay, Australia, and handcrafted in Italy, the eco-friendly sunglasses from CHILDE feature bold, classic colours, shapes and styles, with solid, durable frames made from the best bio acetate in the world – Mazzucchelli M49 Bio Acetate – a plant-based cellulose that can be made without fossil fuels, or from 61% renewable resources.
CHILDE’s sustainable sunglasses don’t break the bank either (so you can add that to your karma bank, instead), and Sunglass Fix is a proud partner of the CHILDE for Life sustainable lens replacement warranty program, offering a free lens replacement using high-quality Polyamide lenses for your CHILDE sunglasses up to 12 months from the date of purchase. Consider CHILDE a super stylish and practically future proof choice for eco-friendly and sustainable sunglasses.
The concept of the Australian sustainable sunglasses brand, Good Citizens, started from a discussion between a father and his young sons about the extent of plastic waste globally, which lead to a brilliant idea: take old single-use soda bottles and turn them into seriously savvy 100% recycled plastic sunglasses.
The plastic from just one 600 ml single-use bottle makes the frame, arms and hinges of a single pair of Good Citizens recycled plastic sunglasses. There are no screws and no metal parts involved, and a clever modular design allows customisation thanks to the unique Clip Kit, which contains frame clips in four different colourways. Good Citizens’ sustainable sunglasses also come with superior quality sunglass lenses made by Carl Zeiss Vision of Germany. Hot tip: If you damage or scratch your sunglasses lenses, they can be easily replaced with new lenses from Sunglass Fix, ensuring your Good Citizens sunglasses look and feel great for even longer.
The Good Citizens family are guided to make products that last and never exploit people or the earth, and they’re upping the eco-style stakes, one pair of sustainable sunglasses at a time.
Developed by a passionate group of surfers along the shores of Byron Bay, GROWN® makes sustainable wooden eyewear rooted in environmentally-friendly edginess. Handcrafted from durable Bamboo, maple, ebony and walnut, all of the hardwoods used for GROWN® sunglasses are FSC™ Certified sustainable, which means the timber is ethically sourced and bound by sustainable forestry management standards that’s some super important eco cred).
This humble but mighty sustainable sunglass brand also redistributes all profits towards one of Australia’s most important environmental initiatives, WIRES (Wildlife Rescue). WIRES provide the gift of life to orphaned or injured animals and help to fund the selfless efforts of volunteers working tirelessly to balance the unnatural depletion of wildlife. Now that’s some feel-good fashion.
Bloobloom is positively impacting our planet and society through more charitable means, with a sustainable sunglasses model built around a ‘Pair for a Pair’ program. For every pair of Bloobloom designer eyewear sold, a pair is donated to help restore vision to people in need through their partnership with Vision for a Nation, making eye care accessible to impoverished communities in Africa.
Bloobloom values honesty as much as they value giving- back. Everything they do is transparent - from the cost of materials and labour to the transportation and taxes - all broken down on their website, so you always know the true value, well beyond the monetary, of the sunglasses you purchase. Talk about conscious consumerism, right?
As one of the few sustainable sunglasses companies that hold the highly esteemed and covetable B Corp certification – meeting the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose – UK-based, purpose-driven brand Pala is making a big impact in sustainable eyewear, both in style and in substance.
Pala provides ongoing grants to eye care projects in Africa via Vision Aid Overseas while creating stylish and ethically-made sunglasses from eco-friendly materials, exclusively using bio-acetate for all of its high-performance, sustainable sunglass frames. They’re constantly sourcing and implementing innovative new science technologies to improve their material compositions for lessening environmental impact (like their latest non-polarised lenses made from 39.5% castor bean), ranking Pala as some of the best ethical sunglasses on the market.
Modern and affordable ethical sunglasses made from recycled ocean plastic? It sounds like some seriously smart eco eyewear, we say.
Waterhaul was founded by Harry Dennis, a frustrated marine scientist, conservationist and surfer from Cornwall, UK, who took his passion for ocean preservation and turned it into this innovative recycled sustainable sunglass brand. Waterhaul creates frames made from end-of-life fishing gear and nets - the most common forms of plastic in our oceans. Sourced through recoveries along remote and exposed coastlines, this waste is then injection moulded at a facility in Northern Italy. Utilising the strongest form of plastic from our oceans, that would otherwise last decades, Waterhaul produces exceptionally sustainable eyewear and recycled sunglasses that meet the technical demands of adventure, ocean-exposure and UV protection.
SOLO Eyewear creates environmentally responsible sunglasses that also tackle the lack of access to eye care in the world’s most impoverished communities. To date, SOLO Eyewear has restored vision for over 15,000 people in need across 32 countries.
They construct their polarised eco-friendly sunglasses with environmentally conscious cellulose acetate frames and repurposed wood and Bamboo, with their sustainable and recycled sunglasses handmade using the scraps from furniture makers. All of SOLO Eyewear’s sunglasses come with polarised lenses and 100% UV protection as standard, and your investment in quality sustainable sunglasses remains environmentally sound, even if you damage or scratch your sunglass lenses. Just hit up Sunglass Fix for a pair of precision new lenses or their custom lens installation service, and those sustainable shades will stay evergreen for many years to come.
This Dutch-born sustainable sunglass brand likes to think of their bio-acetate frames as the smarter, sexier, eco-friendlier cousin to the plastic sunglasses of old. Dick Moby also love to recycle, saving bits and pieces of offcuts from their manufacturers to be recycled into a new life as handmade plant-based and recycled acetate and metal eyewear.
With all the high-quality fixtures and fittings you’d expect – including UV400-certified ZEISS glass lenses with anti-reflection and anti-scratch coating, plus recycled PET pouches and recycled leather cases – Dick Moby is spearheading sustainable eyewear trends with style.
The health of our planet and the effect of fashion on the environment is coming increasingly into focus. But when wearing sustainable sunglasses looks - and feels - as good as these eco-friendly options do, the future of ethical eyewear sure looks much brighter.