When you're out and about, are you one of those people that feels positively naked without your favourite pair of sunglasses?
We get it. Sunnies are the ultimate fashion accessory (which may explain why the world's most expensive pair of sunglasses sits at $400,000!).
They enhance your style and make you feel great. Not only that, they protect you from the sun, the wind, glare and UV; all in all making them pretty indispensable. But there's a catch. Most sunglasses get thrown out when they're broken or damaged.
Where do your sunglasses end up?
With more than one billion pairs sold each year, and everyone owning at least one pair (unless you're Nicole Richie who's said to carry around eight with her at all times), you don't need to be a genius to work out the impact on our landfills.
So, how do you reduce your global footprint when it comes to sunglasses? How do you look good, save money AND prevent waste? The answer may surprise you.
Upcycling sunglasses with new lenses is a fast-growing fashion trend that saves you money, time, and most importantly, cuts back waste. It's all part of the growing sustainable fashion movement. There are a tonne of benefits to sustainable fashion.
But first, let's take a look at where things stand today.
Say 'no' to fast fashion
In today's world, there are a lot of fast things to contend with: fast food, limited time, and of course, fast fashion.
We're obsessed with shopping, instant gratification and the new ('never wear the same thing twice'), sending demand for cheap, disposable items out of control.
Most of the things we buy, we never wear. According to the Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia, each year, Australians send $500 million worth of clothing to the tip.
The impact of mass-produced fashion on the environment and on the quality of life for the workers who make the products is devastating.
Say 'hello' to sustainable fashion
The great news is, the buy-and-discard party is winding down. While there is still much room for improvement, sustainable fashion and (eco consciousness generally) is slowly, but steadily making headway.
● Nielsen’s 2015 Global Corporate Sustainability Report, showed that 66% of consumers would spend more on a product if it came from a sustainable brand.
● A 2018 study by HP Australia and Planet Ark found that while over 90% of Australian consumers and businesses are concerned about environmental sustainability, only 50% of those surveyed believe they are doing their part to protect the planet.
● The zero waste movement is gaining support, with consumers increasingly understanding the overwhelming importance of reducing their global footprint.
Ready to make positive change?
● Top 10 tips to living waste-free
● How to create a more sustainable business.
Join the sustainable style movement
Here are some easy ways to become a more conscious consumer:
Buy thoughtfully. Not sure what makes a fashion brand sustainable? Find out what kind of environmental impact a brand has, their labour practices – even the way they treat animals. There are plenty of done-for-you resources out there that rate the most ethical and sustainable fashion brands around. The Green Hub or My Green Closet are good starting points. You can also look for industry-leading certifications such as GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), C-Corp Certification Forest Stewardship Council or Fairtrade.
Purchase less and Buy Second Hand. Ask yourself these questions before buying. Do you really need the item? Are you shopping because you're in retail therapy mode, or trying to get a quick endorphin rush? Could you be spending the money on something more fulfilling? If you really need something, buy second hand. Many second hand items have plenty of life left in them. If you love designer fashion, Vestiaire Collective is where you need to shop.
Wear your clothes out. Without a doubt, one of the best ways to support sustainable fashion is to wear your garments until they're ready to go to clothes heaven. Which means you can get one or two hundred wears out of them. If you buy only things you really, really love, chances are you won't get sick of them.
Shop online. Shopping online is much better for the environment than bricks-and-mortar shopping because less driving is involved. According to a detailed five-year study which measured the environmental impact of our clothing throughout their life cycle, shopping trips taken by car account for more than 20% of the climate load during the clothing life cycle.
Reduce. Repair. Reuse. Recycle. The four Rs have been around for a while. As a consumer, this can mean buying second hand things (who doesn't love rummaging through racks to get some fresh threads at a low price?) or making an effort to fix something. With locations around the world, Repair Café evolved as part of the global waste free movement. You can take your broken household goods such as toasters and hairdryers to their workshop and they’ll help you repair it! Or in the case of your sunglass, Sunglass Fix can help give them a whole new lease on life.
What to do when it's time for a new pair of shades
OK, so you can't-live-without sunnies that are scratched, bent or damaged. Or you're simply trying to do the right thing and change them because you've heard UV-blocking power deteriorates over time.
Well, now's the time to gain from all the benefits of sustainable fashion and upcycle your sunglasses. You heard right – upcycle. And we're here to help. It's about creatively reusing your favourite pair and turning your glasses into something even better than before.
Sunglass Fix allows you to buy new lenses and install them yourself with easy to follow repair instructions. Or just send them into us to repair. Either way, it's easy, it's affordable, and it's green.