Few things are as guaranteed as losing your favorite pair of sunglasses. No matter how close you keep them, they never last forever. Aside from the disappointment, the problem creates unnecessary waste as well. To lessen the impact on the environment, many eyewear-makers are beginning to explore more sustainable materials—a practice CH greatly appreciates. From cotton and other plant-based resins to bamboo, the following are three standout examples of stylish and sustainable sunglasses.
Billed as the world's first 100% biodegradable sunglass, Colorado-based Zeal Optics' new Ace model is born out of an innovative new bio-plastic material made entirely of 100% US-grown cotton. Once harvested stateside, the cotton is sent to celebrated Italian eyewear-maker Mazzucchelli where it's turned into resin and shaped into shades. To complete the sustainable circle, the Ace is outfitted with Zeal's patent-pending, plant-based e-llume lens, which actually inspired the creation of Ace itself. Find the Ace in a range of colors for $169 from Zeal.
Waiting for the Sun
While there's been no shortage of wood sunglasses in recent years, the devotion to material exploration and eco-friendly production is still impressive. With this in mind, it was great to see Waiting for the Sun using bamboo in their latest collection. Handmade with etched details like a keyhole nose bridge, the lightweight sunnies are outfitted with prestigious Carl Zeiss lenses for 100% UV protection. Keep an eye on the French fashion brand as they're set to follow suit and introduce a range of biodegradable bio-resin frames early in 2014. For now visit Waiting for the Sun online where their current collection sells for €130 a pair.
Similar to Zeal's latest initiative, recently launched Dizm eyewear makes biodegradable, plant-based resin plastic sunglasses. Influenced by action sports and life in Southern California, the casual shades are designed to lessen the impact on landfills and the ocean with sustainable practices, and protect your eyes with polarized lenses. The Dempsey takes its style from classics like the wayfarer, but with softer lines and thicker temple pieces. Find more at Dizm online where each frame sells for $95.
Zeal and Waiting for the Sun images courtesy of each respective brand, Dizm image by Graham Hiemstra