It is a safe bet to say that most people own at some point in their lives a pair of sunglasses. Whether for summertime, vacations, or just walking on a sunny day, we’ve all used a pair of sunglasses.
Nevertheless, you should always strive to be as eco friendly as possible. Therefore, why not give a chance to some eco friendly sunglasses. There are plenty of “eco glasses” available, and its a growing movement.
If you have started your Eco Friendly or Zero Waste journey, then you’ve probably started avoiding products such as plastic sunglasses and started looking more at sustainable fashion.
Therefore, in the search for the ideal sunglasses, we have found that materials such as bamboo frames, and others that promote sustainability are vital for finding the perfect eco friendly sunglasses.
That being said, here is our preferred list of brands for sustainable glasses. And their respective features.
Solo Eyewear is based out of San Diego, California, in the United States. Their goal in their own words is to “create environmentally responsible sunglasses” and thus give back to those in need.
In their early research stage, they realized there were over 1 billion people across the planet that do not have access to any sort of eye care (1).
Thanks to their work, they have helped over 13,000 individuals with their eyewear.
In terms of the materials, they like to use repurposed wood, repurposed bamboo, and cellulose acetate. Additionally, they are amongst the most affordable brands, with prices ranging from 55 USD to 100 USD.
They offer polarized lenses with up to 100% UV protection. Namely, you cannot go wrong with this brand. All while providing free shipping and returns in the United States.
With polarized sunglasses made of excellent material, what are you waiting for(in addition to bamboo sunglasses options)?
Another great producer of eco friendly sunglasses, Grown Designs( Australian), focuses on sustainable wooden eyewear.
And, they claim that for every item that you buy from their website, they give back by funding sight-restoring eye surgery for one person, or a diagnostic exam for up to 12 kids.
They primarily partner with Seva Canada, a charity that focuses on the restoration of sight and prevention of blindness.
They work with some of the poorest countries in the world, like Nepal, Madagascar, Guatemala, amongst others.
In terms of practicalities and materials, we love the fact that their organization focuses on sustainable sunglasses using materials like bamboo, maple, ebony, and zebrawood hardwoods.
Moreover, because of these materials, they promote the fact that every pair of sunglasses are made with sustainable materials AND are unique. Namely, no pair is made the same.
They make sure their resources are ethically sourced and come from forests that fall under the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council.
Their eco sunglasses also include stainless steel spring hinges and polarized lenses.
In terms of protection coverage, they include a 100-day warranty. With their wide array of sunglasses options, and coverage across three different hemispheres(Australia, North America, and Europe), any eco conscious person in search of sunglasses should take a look.
Especially if you are into bamboo sunglasses.
Founded in 2010, Proof Eyewear consider themselves one of the pioneers in eco friendly sunglasses.
Proof Eyewear is also based out of the United States, in Boise, Idaho.
Nevertheless, they are sold in over 20 countries. Every pair of sunglasses is made using sustainable materials.
Durability and creativity are vital aspects when you look at their products that are in trend.
In terms of high quality pair of glasses, they focus on three categories of materials: recycled aluminum, cotton-based acetate, and high quality wood that is sustainably sourced.
Additionally, most of their sunglasses include spring-loaded hinges and have 100% UAV/UVB protection—the perfect polarized lenses.
They give back by providing relief wherever necessary. For example, they’ve provided assistance in Japan for Tsunami damages, and reforestation in Haiti.
They have a nifty infographic showing some of the numbers of what they’ve done if you care to take a look.
Their sunglasses, as with most providers on this list, come in three different widths(narrow, medium, wide) and frame shape(round, rectangle, square). Namely, they’ll make sure that any pair of sunglasses look good on you.
It is essential to mention that due to the materials they use, they don’t have to spend resources on using recycled plastic, and thus not contributing to ocean plastic by not having clients inadvertently dumping it into oceans or landfills.
Founded in 20212, this Amsterdam(in the Netherlands) based start-up is our favorite European eco friendly sunglasses brand. They make their sunglasses out of recycled or high quality material.
Check out this ridiculously funny(but genuine) video on the impact our garbage has on the planet and our oceans.
If you are looking for biodegradable glasses, then Dick Moby is the place. They use biodegradable acetate(in case you were wondering, acetate is a semi-synthetic material(2) that helps keep pollution down. This is due to its ability to biodegrade fast if you bury it in compost soil and, being entirely plant based).
They recycle acetate into black acetate frames, which, according to them, is 97% recycled acetate, and the remaining 3% is composed of black ink.
Additionally, they have an array of styles, and even their leather cases are recycled. Moreover, their products include a cleaning cloth that is made from PET bottle pouch, which is, of course, recyclable, and the sunglasses are scratch resistant.
We also found their customer service to be top-notch in addition to free shipping internationally and the ability to provide a full refund if you are not happy. Therefore, check out Dick Moby in your search for a pair of glasses.
Another European based brand that also promotes the use of Bio acetate. Pala is based out of Brighton UK and was founded in 2020.
Their give back program is reliable, by offering grants to vision centers and dispensaries in Africa for every pair of eco friendly sunglasses they sell.
They are big believers in sustainable fashion. And, are open about their commitment to gradually ease more into sustainability with their products and sunglasses.
While it is true that most sunglasses are made with acetate due to its resiliency, they adapted to make sure all their new styles are made out of Italian bio acetate, which is 100% plant based.
More importantly, for every delivery made off a purchase, they give 1 British Pound towards countering the CO2 cost of their delivery.
This is an excellent way to keep track of the real natural value of your eco friendly sunglasses.
Also, by embracing recycled materials through the use of recycled mailer envelopes, they are showing their commitment to an eco friendly solution to the pundits that point towards the harmful effects of delivery systems on the planet.
They have a vast option of eco sunglasses. Among the benefits that some of them include, you will find:
- UV protection
- Polarized sunglasses
- Anti-Scratch and anti-glare lenses
They also have a 30-day return policy and free or expedited shipping options. Check them out before making your final decision on any sunglasses.
We could not possibly talk about eco friendly sunglasses without bringing up New York.
Modo was founded in 1990 in New York City(they are based out of the Soho neighborhood in Manhattan).
Modo’s frames are made out of recycled materials. Notably, 95% recycled metal. More importantly, they plant one tree for every frame that they sell.
Also, their frames(which are bio based) are made using castor seed oil, thus making their sunglasses sustainable.
Moreover, designing, manufacturing, and distribution all happen from Soho.
Thus, minimizing the dependency on external manufactures that will inevitably ship items that contribute to CO2 emissions.
They are also involved in helping children who have visual impairments and get adequate treatment they deserve.
While the pricing here may be a bit higher than the other brands on this post, their style, and sleek sunglasses design is definitely worth the price of purchase for people who love sustainability.
Woodwear, as the name suggests, focuses on making eco friendly sunglasses out of sustainable bamboo.
They love the fact that by harvesting bamboo, you are not killing the plant. Woodwear is based out of Orange County, California.
And they donate a portion of their earnings to organizations that help others.
Besides being made of bamboo, you will find that their sunglasses often offer UV protection and polarized lenses.
Moreover, they tend to be very comfortable due to their stainless steel optical hinges.
Also, they offer free domestic shipping if it is within the United States. Nevertheless, they do ship internationally.
Their price range is also quite affordable, with sunglasses mostly not passing the 100 USD mark but still quite stylish.
If you are on a budget, then definitely take a look their way.
Woodzee is another one of those eco friendly sunglasses brands around the world that focus on bamboo. They focus on products made from recycled material and customer service.
Woodzee created a recycling program in 2013 that allows people to recycle any old pair of their sunglasses regardless of whether they were made with bamboo.
By recycling their sunglasses, you can get 50% off your next order.
In terms of their offering, not only do they offer polarized sunglasses but also RX compatible sunglasses. UV protection is included in their products and, of course, made from recycled sunglasses received through their program.
In terms of their polarized glasses, they offer wood, metal, and acetate sunglasses.
Woodzee also tends to have a significant amount of product sales, so definitely check them out if you are looking for a price reduction on the purchase price.
And if you are interested in looking at more pictures than whats available on their website, take a look at their social media.
Swell Vision focuses on sourcing sustainable bamboo and handcrafting their sunglasses.
Swell Vision is based out of South Carolina. They reinvest a lot of their profits into education through a nonprofit green school in Bali.
Their sunglasses are polarized and tend to come in a few colors to give people variety.
Additionally, they have very affordable options for just about any budget. These sunglasses are perfect for outdoor adventures. Moreover, they ship internationally, for those living outside of the United States.
We also love that that they give a detailed description of how to take care of your sunglasses, whether they come in direct contact with different types of water, or how to use the microfiber cloth that’s included in every sunglasses case.
Additionally, they include a 90-day warranty against anything related to manufacturing issues, and it is valid on all purchases.
Nevertheless, please keep in mind that you must have a receipt to do so.
Moreover, if you ship internationally, you have to cover any customs fees incurred by your country.
Be sure to check them out before deciding on any of these.
Created in 2012 in Washington, USA, Wear Panda decided to focus on eyewear that is sustainable, and that would not harm our oceans.
They love to use bamboo material, as their primary purpose was to move away from cheap plastic sunglasses.
Wear Panda loves the term “fashion with a purpose” as part of its mission.
Namely, their give back initiatives are legit. For every product they sell, they make sure to send a portion of the sale to a charity.
Among some of their partners, you will find Kiva(a nonprofit organization), Optometry Giving Sight(global fundraising initiative), One Tree Planet, amongst others.
You can read more about what they’ve done here.
In regards to their sunglasses, they have a pretty nifty quiz to help you find the one pair of sunglasses that’s perfect for you. And, they also have the option of letting you send a headshot photo to their team.
In terms of their classic collection, you will find that all their sunglasses are handcrafted and made of wood.
Particularly, certified sustainable bamboo that also floats in water. Something that their reviewers have found quite convenient.
Finally, they offer free shipping and deliver internationally(although if shipping abroad, always remember to check custom fees).
GlassesUSA (SeaClean Collection)
While GlassesUSA is not entirely sustainable(founded over ten years ago), they have added a sea clean collection to cover sustainable sunglasses.
They are acknowledging the need for sustainability for the future of our planet.
The idea here is to have sunglasses made from recycled materials. Particularly, recycled plastic(upcycled plastic bottles).
They have glasses available with both prescription and non-prescription lenses.
More importantly, for every pair of “conscious sunglasses” they sell, they donate money to the Ocean Cleanup Foundation, which’s goal is to contribute as much as possible to a plastic free ocean by 2050.
With recycled plastic bottles, they can make sunglasses eco friendly at a ratio of 5 water bottles to one pair.
The sunglasses come in multiple colors and can be paid in full or in installment payments, something that is uncommon amongst most of the previous brands we mentioned.
This is no doubt leveraged by their massive footprint in the non-sustainable part of their business.
Additionally, they offer free shipping and a 100% money-back guarantee. Because of this, and their installment payment option, they are a reliable option to consider.
Their primary focus is to help “untrash” the planet. Based out of Sydney Australia, Goodcitizens counts with shipping to the United States and Europe.
Their frames are all made from recycled plastic, and they even re-engineered the hinge to be able to use recycled plastic as well to make them.
In terms of giving back, they help clean up the ocean by 1KG for each sunglasses pair they sell.
GoodCitizens achieves this through its partnership with NGOs.
Their recycled PET felt fabric and all their manufacturing is done in Australia. Additionally, they use recycled packaging.
Namely, the boxes in which they package the sunglasses are recyclable and printed with plant based ink(remarkable!).
The felt case is composed of 60% PET from recycled plastic bottles, and the courier bag is compostable while making sure their delivery service is carbon neutral.
Also, their lenses are polarized, include anti scratching coating and UV protection. They also do a superb job of describing the length of each part of the sunglasses in detail.
GoodCitizens offers a variety of sunglasses options at a relatively affordable price and provides a frame warranty of up to a year. Be sure to check them out!
In conclusion, finding the right pair of eco friendly sunglasses is quite easy.
Regardless of how much money you want to spend, we hope (armed with the knowledge of this guide) to have made your selection process and shopping experience a lot easier.
Whether you are going on vacation or just want to be prepared for the daily routine, there are thousands of ways to go about finding the right product.
As long as you know the type of materials to look for around the world, looking at the right sunglasses brands, and finding the correct specifications, you should be able to make a purchase reasonably easy.
If you need more information or would like us to update this post with any businesses or companies you feel we may have missed, please reach out to us via email or social media and make sure to visit the rest of our website.
CO-Founder @ Puratium. Lover of Belgian Beer 🍺, and debating endlessly over 🏀. That being said, actively doing my part for the 🌍.