Ethical is ethicool. Spotlight on 15 eyewear brands that ally style and sustainability.
I’m on an ecofashion roll. Since I have transitioned towards a sustainable wardrobe, I have been discovering incredible brands and I wanted to share my favorite eco-friendly and ethical sunglasses. Without further ado, here are my picks.
Kynd Eyewear was founded in 2012 in California. They are creating bamboo sunglasses that are custom-designed and hand-crafted from sustainably raised bamboo using eco-friendly stains. They use a carbon offset program to reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions. Style-wise, they have heart-shaped glasses (different colors available), if this is not a fun pair of sunglasses then I give up.
My pick: The Heartbreakers
This might be one of my favorite discoveries. TAS is a German label founded in 2012 by a group of students and they have super stylish and funky sunglasses at a very affordable price. They use wooden materials, including bamboo, acetate with an organic base, TR90 which is a better alternative to polycarbonate and bisphenol-A-free.
Mosevic infuses layers of denim with a carefully selected resin to create an extremely strong and tactile material they call solid denim. They make various accessories, including phone cases and sunglasses. Also, some of their pairs are made with recycled jeans of all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures, thus making each pair of sunglasses completely unique. Their sunnies are handcrafted in their workshop in Cornwall, England. Mosevic is bringing denim back and I like it.
The epitome of ethic-cool. Their frames are just amazing. Founded in 2015, this Dutch company was founded by two surf passionates. Their sustainable frames come in two versions: from recycled (black) or bio-based (colors) acetate. Every pair of sunglasses comes with a free recycled leather hard case and a cleaning cloth made from recycled PET bottles. They process acetate waste into our black frames, which consist of 97% recycled acetate. The remaining 3% are merely black ink. For the other frames, they use bio-based acetate: a material is made without crude oil or toxic plasticisers.
Laidback, easy and eco-friendly shades. Pandoo offers unisex shades, wayfarer-styles entirely made of bamboo and handmade. Pandoo also manufactures lifestyle objects and home.
My picks: the natur in Orange.
Created in 2015, the Coromandel ethical sunglasses are made with Bamboo and several other types of woods. They only work with wood producers who are FSC certified (Forest Stewardship Council)
My picks: the Papakahari
This Dutch brand has come up with a stunning series of shades. Their sunglasses are made of high-quality cotton based acetate. Each model is handcrafted in a 25 step process that takes over more than 2,5 months. The main material in their sunglasses is biodegradable cotton based acetate. Their cases are made from recycled paper. They are continuously looking for ways to be more sustainable.
A wonderful fusion of Japanese craftsmanship and Scandinavian modernism. Oh My Eyes is a luxury eyewear brand from Sweden, but the sunglasses are handmade in Sabae, Japan, They are made using superior-quality Japanese titanium and Italian cellulose acetate, based on cotton and wood. The cases are made from chrome-free vegetable tanned leather in a family-run workshop in Målerås, Sweden.
Pala is a British eyewear brand. Materials they use are acetate and stainless steel and they have some of the coolest sunglasses I’ve ever seen. Most importantly, Pala works with a charity and NGO to improve the living conditions in certain regions of Africa. For every pair of sunglasses sold, they donate a pair of prescription glasses in a number of impoverished regions in Africa. The sunglasses cases are made from recycled plastic waste by weavers in Upper East Ghana, providing them a more sustainable income and living.
Vegan handbag brand superstar has recently launched a collection of eyewear. There is not much information as of now, but the collection comprises sophisticated frames and you can now coordinate your bag to your sunglasses.
Blue Planet Eyewear was founded in California in 2009. They design use recycled plastics and reclaimed metals, as well as natural materials such as bamboo and wood. They have such an amazing selection of cool sunglasses, there’s truly something for everyone. Blue Planet is also involved in charity projects, through their Visualize Change program, which donates one pair of glasses for every frame purchased. They have partnered with various organizations to provide support to people with vision impairment.
Papershades is a brilliant young start-up from Hong Kong producing ready-to-wear shades made from recycled paper in any designs. From the design to the manufacturing process, everything has conceived to reduce environmental impact. You’ll see for yourself, they look awesome. Hard to imagine, they are made out of paper.
Handmade in Italy and made 100% with recycled fishnets plastic. Sea2see aims to be a game-changer in the eyewear industry by creating high-quality and stylish eyewear made entirely with abandoned fishnets and ropes, collected by fishing communities from the coast of Spain. The result? Light and resistant frames which also happen to look super cool.
I have also included two brands that may not be particularly using recycled materials (yet) but do care about ethics, craftsmanship, and quality.
Glasses are handmade in Italy, Our sunglasses and optical frames are handmade in Italy in Cadore with the finest techniques using top quality materials such as Mazzucchelli acetate sheets and Carl Zeiss lenses. The designs are very editorial and classic but with a modern twist.
My picks: The Mixtura pearl white
VIU offers a transparent manufacturing process and fair prices. They pledge to neither imitate major labels nor follow mass production lines. The collections are designed in Switzerland and each pair is then crafted in more than 80 manual steps at a traditional manufacturer in the Italian Dolomites and on Honshū Island. They have a gorgeous selection of shades, from classic designs to more original ones.