Sunday, May 26, 2024

The eco-friendly sunglasses brands to know this summer and beyond

Sunglasses aren’t just for summer – aside from making you look very important and glamorous, they also provide protection from UV rays which are present all-year-round.

When shopping for sunglasses, sustainability is something to think about. Plastic frames take hundreds of years to break down – that’s no secret – while less than 10 per cent of plastic is recycled. Acetate is another popular material for sunglasses which also contains fossil fuel-derived chemicals that can harm the environment.

Our peepers don’t need to forgo proper sun protection though. You’ll find brands out there fitting new lenses into vintage and pre-loved frames, while others tackle plastic pollution by using recycled plastic for theirs, salvaged from landfill or cleared from oceans and beaches.

Bio-acetate is another option which has a high proportion of plant-based materials and can biodegrade quickly without releasing harmful chemicals.

Naturally, eco-friendly packaging is on these brand’s radar – think biodegradable mailer bags or cases weaved from recycled plastic – while some recycle or zhoosh up old frames which means you might not even need a new pair at all.

So, whether you’re after Seventies style shades or cat eye frames à la Breakfast at Tiffany’s, we’ve rounded up the eco-friendly sunglasses brands to have on your radar this summer and beyond.


Ethical and ever so chic, Bird uses bio-acetate, certified woods, renewable cork and recycled aluminium for its sunglasses. And as a B-corp, it ensures care is taken with everything from its environmental impact to workers rights – we also love that each pair is vegan and cruelty-free.




Travelling coastlines around the world, marine scientist and Waterhaul founder Harry Dennis was struck by the sheer amount of lost and abandoned fishing gear along the shoreline. Recycled into a material with 15 per cent the CO2 footprint of plastic, this abandoned fishing gear now makes up its range of sunnies and, to offset its emissions the brand also donates to Eden Reforestation Projects.


3)Retro Specced

Giving beautiful vintage and pre-loved frames a new life, mother and daughter duo Tracey and Lucy founded Retro Specced in 2017. To divert perfectly good frames from landfill, the brand has teamed up with Vision Aid Overseas to collect and refurbish pre-worn sunglasses in order to find them a new home.



Look to Monc for considered, fashion-forward frames. With a store nestled in Marylebone, the London-born brand is all about quality and craftmanship. Its collection spans certified biodegradable bio-acetate and wire frames which are aesthetically inspired by places around the world – take its simple Lokka design that we loved (£230, which is an ode to a district in Oslo.


A B-corp brand with purpose, Pala handcrafts stylish frames while helping to provide eyecare access to communities in Africa. Teaming up with eyecare charity Vision Aid Overseas it is now a huge force for good, funding eye care projects in Zambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia, building to access prescription glasses and corrective eye surgery.

-article courtesy by Lois Borny


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