The sunglasses market doesn’t have a very good record when it comes to sustainability. Traditionally, sunglasses are made from a combination of materials including plastic, metal and paint. And that means most sunglasses are hard to recycle. They end up as landfill and contribute to environmental pollution. But things are changing. Eco-friendly sunglasses companies are popping up all over the place. Here are six of the best British eco-friendly sunglasses companies.
Pala is a certified B Corp that uses sustainable materials. It adopts a give-back approach and funds eyecare campaigns across Africa. There’s also a recycling program for UK customers. That means you can take in your old frames and Pala will recycle them. And if that weren’t impressive enough, Pala makes all its products from sustainable and plant-based natural materials. Some of them are even biodegradable.
Waterhaul is a social enterprise whose vision is to transform ocean waste into a resource. This company creates great eyewear from recycled ocean plastic. And even better, all glasses come with a lifetime warranty, so you can rest assured they’ll last for years to come.
Nomad Eyewear’s founders were shocked when they saw how much waste washed up on beaches. So they decided to do something about it. Nomad Eyewear uses recycled ocean plastic to make its trendy specs and supports tree planting programmes at the same time. For every purchase, the company will plant five mangroves in Madagascar. That means you can look cool and protect ecosystems at the same time.
Bird is a certified B Corp that partners with SolarAid to tackle poverty and climate change around the world. It uses FSC-certified wood, and is carbon neutral and vegan. Bird glasses are made from certified wood pulp, bio-based acetate, recycled aluminium and renewable cork. And the company is so sure you’ll love its products, it has created a home try-on service.
Retrospectacle’s mission is to showcase vintage eyewear as a sustainable and fashionable option. Check out its online store for a wide variety of retro specs. Retrospectacle loves to tell glasses’ stories. You’ll find NHS specs from the 1940s sitting alongside designer brands from the nineties, all with a unique history and narrative.
Vinted is another company working hard to promote used sunglasses. This online platform has a growing community of millions of users. And its mission is to ‘make second-hand first choice’. You’ll find vintage and pre-owned sunglasses that you won’t get on the high street. And the best thing is, the prices are affordable.
We’re all aware of the need to change our habits to protect the planet and its people. These companies represent a positive change in the eyewear industry. More and more organisations are using sustainable materials, supporting important causes and using a circular economy model.
By choosing an eco-friendly brand, you’re not only buying something that makes you look good. You’re also joining a growing market of people doing their bit for the planet.