Sunglasses manufacturers are going green and turning to eco-friendly sunglasses. It comes in the wake of public demand for more eco-friendly eyewear, and more manufacturers are noticing.
The result has seen the launch of several new eyewear options that make the most of natural materials and new technologies.
One natural material making its way into modern models of eyewear is bamboo. Sunglasses designers are attracted by its qualities – strong, durable, easy to work and a stylish look that will last for years.
But it's not just the eco-friendly bamboo itself; the whole manufacturing process leaves a smaller carbon footprint on the world.
Unlike plastics and other synthetics, bamboo requires fewer chemicals in the sunglasses manufacturing process.
And it's not just bamboo sunglasses that are making an impact in the high street; wooden frames are back in fashion, and other recycled materials are now making their way into the market. Fashion designer Stella McCartney was one of the first to begin sourcing eco-friendly materials to create her garments and accessories. Her new eco-friendly sunglasses are made with a 55% castor oil seed – a renewable resource that appeals to the growing number of environmentally aware customers. Other manufacturers are going even further by ensuring their castor bean oil comes from plants grown on marginal land that doesn't compete with food crops.
Similarly, some manufacturers of bamboo sunglasses insist their raw material comes from bamboo grown specifically for spectacle manufacture, thus providing jobs in hard-pressed rural areas. Top sunglasses stylist Colin Leslie sources his bamboo from sourced plantations in Asia to ensure no wild bamboo is used in production. They also check that other sunglasses parts are ethically produced from recycled plastic products. A spokesperson for the company said: " Unfortunately, today's world has become a throwaway society of landfills and harmful environments. We at Colin Leslie feel that everybody can do their bit."
Some may wonder if bamboo sunglasses can be as good as standard spectacles as far as design and style are concerned. You need only turn to celebrities to see what is in fashion and what is out. Among the stars sporting Colin Leslie bamboo glasses are Emeli Sande, Tinchy Stryder, Alicia Silverstone, Olly Murs, Calum Best and Olly Proudlock – not a bad advertisement for bamboo eyewear. Even big-name companies like Gucci are turning to eco-friendly products to help the environment. It has released a new model of sunglasses made from 'Liquid Wood', a bio-based and eco-friendly alternative to plastic. They are made from bio-based materials such as wood fibre grown in sustainably managed forests. Natural wax and lignin are used in paper manufacturing and aim to cut the carbon used in manufacturing. Gucci sunglasses also come with 100% recyclable packaging and a unique foldable case to minimise space and weight, claimed to cut 60% of CO2 emissions.
You, too, can contribute to the environment by wearing eco-friendly shades and opting to have your damaged glasses repaired rather than replaced with new ones. Whether it's damaged or scratched lenses, bent frames or broken hinges, you can opt to have them fixed to save money and, at the same time, help the planet. The trained staff at AlphaOmega can repair your glasses good as new while saving you money and helping you lower your carbon footprint – good news all around.