Friday, June 2, 2023

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Eco Sunglasses Have Come a Long Way


Sunglasses have always made the outfit, and with these sustainable options you get the best in style and a clear conscience as they’re all made from eco materials.

Sunglasses fall into the amorphous “accessories” category, but they’re anything but. Not only do they offer protection from the sun’s potent UV rays to keep crow’s feet at bay, but they also prevent the sun from burning the eyes themselves, which can speed up degeneration. Plus, let’s be honest, an outfit, especially during warmer months, isn’t an outfit until shades are on.

Not all sunglasses are made equal. Most are still made with virgin materials like zylonite and polycarbonate, both come from plastic. That’s changing though as brands embrace eco-materials in eyewear.

Just as the weather warms and the sun gets ready for its long season, these are the best sustainable sunglasses options for your 2022. But hopefully they’ll last you much longer than that.

Best eco sunglasses

From luxury labels to celebrity collections and everything in between, these are the best sunglasses no matter what your style preference.


Style and sustainability co-mingle in the newest eyewear drop from AKILA and CRTFD. Both Los Angeles-based brands are committed to sustainable style. CRTFD prioritizes creative expression and plant medicine inspiration. AKILA is focused on handmade and limited-run eyewear. The acetate frames feature gold hardware and biodegradable lenses that will decompose after five years in a landfill. The frames come in a stylish cork leather case, but you won’t be using it that often; you won’t want to take these eco sunnies off.

2. Garrett Leight

Beloved by celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio and the Kardashians, luxury eyewear label Garrett Leight released its first sustainable collection earlier this year. The Venice Beach-based brand has always prioritized quality materials and processes, including its high-quality ZEISS lenses. But the new GLCO eyewear is the label’s first to use an eco-acetate for its frames. The bio-based and biodegradable materials reduce emissions by 60 percent compared to traditional plastic frames. They also require less than half of the energy to produce.

3. Electric x Jason Momoa

You can be fairly certain that if Jason Momoa has lent his name to a product or cause, it’s making the world a better place. Case in point: the Aquaman star recently partnered with Electric on a second sustainable frames collection. The new collection features two colorways including a matte pink and a rose tort, the same colors in another Momoa collab—the sustainable shoes he launched with On the Roam. The Electric sunglasses are made from Italian M49 bio acetate and come in recycled chipboard boxes and recycled nylong microfiber storage and cleaning bags.

4. Arnette x Zayn Malik

Arnette and Zayn Malik first partnered up last year with much success. Most recently, the One Direction singer partnered up with the eco eyewear label again for a ’90s inspired collection. The frames embrace inspiration from ’90s graphic novel characters and styles. But unlike most things in the ’90s, the sunglasses are made from eco materials including bio-acetate and bio-based lenses. The eyewear comes in a sustainable pouch and include a microfiber cloth made from 78 percent recycled polyamide.

5. Salvatore Ferragamo

Luxury label Salvatore Ferragamo has been steadily increasing its sustainable selections. Eyewear is no exception. The brand launched into the category last year with a range of frames, including sunglasses made from recycled and renewable materials. It uses Eastman Acetate Renew, which blends bioplastic from wood pulp with recycled materials leftover from industrial practices. BioRay lenses are made from castor-oil-based plastic. The cases are sustainable, too, made from Lino 39, which combines natural, renewable, and biodegradable linen and cotton outer and post-consumer polyester lining.

6. Shyne

Everything Canada’s Shyne makes is sustainable. The UV400 frames are all made from 100 percent recycled Econyl plastic, keeping plastic waste out of oceans. It also offsets all of its shipment-related CO2 emissions by planting trees. Plus, $5 from every pair sold goes directly to a local charity, part of the company’s “changemaker” ethos.

7. Timberland x Marcolin

Timberland is going all in on sustainability. The shift started with its boots and has extended to include its eyewear. In its new collection, Timberland puts its “Earthkeepers” badge on sunglasses made with at least 65 percent bio-based materials. The polarized glasses aren’t just stylish; they’re cause-driven, too, part of Timberland’s “Plant the Change” initiative that’s planting 50 million trees worldwide by 2025.


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