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Eco-friendly sunglasses protect the eyes and reduce waste and environmental damage. Companies that sell eco-friendly sunglasses use recycled or sustainably sourced materials to manufacture these products.
- For a carbon-neutral company: Sunski
- For reducing plastic in oceans: Good Citizens
- For sustainable wood and reforestation: Proof Eyewear
- For recycled fishing nets and mineral glass: Waterhaul
- For compostable products: Pela
- For sustainable natural materials: Blue Planet Eco-Wear
- For recycled plastic: Genusee
- For repurposed materials: Solo Eyewear
- For recycled marine plastic: Sea2see
Companies that manufacture sustainable and eco-friendly sunglasses aim to use raw materials and manufacturing processes that least affect the environment. Some companies may also donate part of the cost of their sunglasses to organizations that clean up plastics and other harmful materials from the ocean.
Eco-friendly products are increasingly popular. NYU Stern’s Center for Sustainable Business found that market share for sustainable products grew faster than conventional alternatives during 2015–2019.
Products that are eco-friendly share many of the following characteristics:
- Materials: People may wish to look for companies that use sustainably sourced raw or recycled materials.
- Manufacturing process: The manufacturing process should have a minimal effect on the environment.
- Employees: Individuals can seek out companies that follow nonexploitive employee practices.
- Packaging: Eco-friendly companies will use packaging that is minimal and recyclable.
- Ethical transportation and retailing: Eco-friendly companies strive to transport and retail their products with minimal effect on the environment.
- Safe disposal: Eco-friendly products will not cause environmental damage when a person disposes of them.
- Returns: Eco-friendly companies often have options to return products for recycling or products that a person can compost at home.
People who purchase eco-friendly sunglasses should ensure the product is 100% effective at blocking UV radiation to provide necessary eye protection.
Several brands manufacture eco-friendly and sustainable sunglasses.
Please note, the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based.
This California company has a carbon-neutral pledge and donates 1% of sales to green nonprofits.
Sunski sells nonprescription sunglasses for adults and children. The company also offers sunglasses that are suitable for sport and filter blue light.
Sunski creates the sunglasses from recycled materials and ships them in recycled packaging with origami folds and no glue or plastic. Each product comes with a lifetime warranty, with Sunski stating it will replace any broken sunglasses.
Good Citizens operate out of Sydney, Australia, and they ship worldwide. For each pair they sell, they donate funds to aid agencies to clean plastic out of oceans.
Good Citizens use one recycled single-use plastic bottle to create each pair of sunglasses, including the hinges. They sell two styles of sunglasses, and people can purchase different colored arms and clips to change the look of these products.
They sell both nonprescription and prescription lenses. Good Citizens also have a virtual try-on service for people to see what the sunglasses look like before purchase.
Good Citizens also offer a 12-month warranty against manufacturing defects.
Proof Eyewear makes sunglasses from sustainable wood, cotton-based acetate, and recycled aluminum. With every purchase, the company plants five mangrove trees in Africa. And if a person donates their used or broken Proof eco-friendly sunglasses and eyeglasses to the company for recycling, Proof offers a 40% discount on a new pair.
Some of the company’s sunglasses are also suitable for prescription lenses. People can filter sunglasses by gender, width, and frame shape.
Individuals can also return or exchange their glasses within 30 days of purchase. Additionally, Proof Eyewear offers a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty on their products.
Waterhaul is a company based in Cornwall, United Kingdom, that makes sunglasses with frames made from 100% recycled fishing nets and lenses from recyclable mineral glass. The company ships to several countries, including the United States.
Waterhaul sells both prescription and nonprescription sunglasses. It also offers a 30-day return policy and a lifetime warranty on all glasses. Under the lifetime warranty, customers must pay for any shipping, but repairs and replacements are free.
Pela offers compostable sunglasses, blue light glasses, AirPod cases, phone cases, smartwatch bands, and accessories. The company measures its carbon footprint, tracks its water use, and reduces the waste it produces. Pela is also certified carbon-neutral.
The company’s sunglasses are completely biodegradable, including the hinges and lenses. They are available in many styles and frame colors. Pela donates a percentage of every sale to cleaning and protecting the ocean.
The company also offers a 90-day return and exchange policy on its products. People can return broken or used sunglasses and glasses for Pela to recycle or upcycle into new products.
Blue Planet Eco-Eyewear
Blue Planet Eco-Eyewear sells a wide variety of eco-friendly polarized sunglasses, blue light glasses, and readers. The company’s products consist of recycled and natural materials.
For every pair of sunglasses people purchase, the company plants a tree and donates a pair of corrective glasses to those in need. Individuals can choose from a range of frame colors and lens colors.
Blue Planet Eco-Eyewear also offers free shipping on orders over $25 and ships orders in plastic-free packaging. Individuals can return their glasses for a refund or exchange within 14 days of purchase.
Genusee operates out of Flint, Michigan, and manufactures its eyewear from recycled plastic water bottles. The majority of the company’s supplies come from within 188 miles of Flint. The company hires locally and donates 1% of its net profits to address the health and education of children affected by lead in the city.
Additionally, Genusee offers a buy-back program, through which it accepts used glasses from purchases and repays in credit off a person’s next pair.
Though Genusee’s sunglasses are available in one basic style, people can choose from various frame colors and lens options. Certain lenses are subject to a 30% restocking fee.
The company also offers a 30-day return and one-time refund policy on prescription and nonprescription sunglasses and optical glasses.
Solo Eyewear donates 10% of its profits to provide eye exams, eyeglasses, and cataract surgery to people worldwide. The company makes its eco-friendly sunglasses from repurposed wood, bamboo, and cellulose acetate.
Individuals can choose from several frames and lens options. Solo Eyewear ships free to the U.S. within 6 days of ordering, while the company also offers 30-day returns on its products.
Sea2see is a European company with an online store and stockists worldwide. The company makes its products from 100% recycled marine plastic.
Additionally, Sea2see has created programs in Europe and Africa for fishing communities. These communities collect several thousand kilograms of plastic every month from the shorelines and seas to use in the company’s products. This creates income for locals and reduces plastic in the ocean.
Sea2see offers more than 200 different frames. Its sunglasses are available in various combinations of frame and lens types.
The company ships its products worldwide from website orders within 10 days, and it offers a 7-day return policy.
UV radiation and visible blue light can lead to several eye conditions,
- macular degeneration
- eye cancer
Sunglasses are one of the best ways people can protect their eyes from damage due to the sun’s UV radiation. To maximize sun protection, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends looking for glasses with:
- 100% UV protection
- extensive coverage, such as over-sized or wrap-around glasses
- any price tag or lens color, because more expensive sunglasses and darker lenses do not necessarily mean better protection
People should also wear sunglasses when they are around sand, water, or snow, as sunlight and UV radiation can reflect off these surfaces.
Eco-friendly sunglasses protect the eyes from sun damage and are sustainable products that reduce harm to the environment. Several companies manufacture exclusive, eco-friendly products for sale online and in-store.
Sunglasses protect eyes from UV radiation and can reduce the risks of developing cataracts and other eye conditions. People should always ensure they purchase sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection.