by Dora Haller
Paris-based brand Waiting For the Sun (aka W/SÜN) may sound familiar; CH recently included their frames in a round-up of sustainable sunglasses. We delved deeper this time by meeting with Antoine Mocquard and Julien Tual, the two Frenchmen behind the wooden sunglasses line, and previewed their latest innovation: an 80% organic, 100% biodegradable, 100% recycled and 100% recyclable line of eyeglass frames.
In their Parisian concept store, surrounded by wilted hydrangeas—a signature good luck charm for the designers, originally from Brittany where wild hydrangeas grow in the countryside—the two designers have been working for five years on the development of this new material. Composed of recycled wood waste and wood dust, compressed with bio-acetate based on a 70% cotton rate, the frames are 100% made in France. Mounted with Carl Zeiss lenses, Bois² is their latest high-end collection.
"The name of the collection—Bois² (wood squared in English)—symbolizes the second life of wood that was supposed to be destroyed," explains Tual. "Our original concept was to develop a material that provides continuity to wood's life cycle that was considered as waste. It took us five years of research to find the perfect ratio of the ingredients. The material we have today is perfectly eco-friendly with an ecological footprint the closest possible to zero.
"All of the range is handmade and entirely made in France," adds Mocquard. "They are produced in the Jura mountains, in a village called Oyonnax, where until recently the best manufacturers of the French eyeglass industry have been working. Most of the factories have been closed up as the production was moved gradually to developing countries, but we were lucky enough to find two workshops whose knowledge and experience have been a real key to our success. We are very proud of this new revolutionary material, which we have patented under our trademark."
The surprisingly light glasses (weighing roughly 20 grams) will be available in January 2014. They will come in three different colors, of which two—beech and spruce—are the natural colors of the wood used in fabrication; a classic black version will also be available. The sunglasses will cost around $270 and the spectacles around $300. Until then, visit Waiting For The Sun's website to see their current collection and a full list of stockists.
Lead image courtesy of Yann Stofer, all others courtesy of Waiting For The Sun