Bamboo glasses turn on the style
The result has seen the launch of several new ranges of eyewear options that are making the most of natural materials and new technologies.
One natural material that is making its way into modern models of eyewear is bamboo. Sunglasses designers are attracted by its qualities — strong, durable, easy to work and with a stylish look that will last for years.
But it's not just the bamboo itself that is eco-friendly, the whole manufacturing process leaves a smaller carbon footprint on the world.
Unlike plastics and other synthetics bamboo requires fewer chemicals to be used 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 and her latest range of sunglasses are made from a plastic that includes castor oil seed.
Her new eco-friendly sunglasses are made with a 55% castor oil seed — a renewable resource which appeals to the growing number of environmentally aware customers.
Other manufacturers are going even further by ensuring that 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 its bamboo from sourced plantations in Asia to ensure that no wild bamboo is used in production. They also ensure 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. Well, 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.
Made from bio-based materials such as wood fibre from sustainably managed forests, natural wax and the lignin used in paper manufacturing, they aim to cut the carbon used for manufacture.
Gucci sunglasses also come with 100% recyclable packaging, a unique foldable case to minimise space and weight which is claimed to cut 60% of CO2 emissions.
You too can make a contribution to the environment not only by wearing eco-friendly shades but by opting to have your damaged glasses repaired rather than buy new ones.
Whether it's damaged or scratched lenses, bent frames or broken hinges you can opt to have them repaired or replaced and save money while at the same time helping the planet.
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 round.