By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
As proven by the fact that Armani‘s Canaletto Walnut Wood sunnies have now completely sold out, it’s pretty clear that wood sunglasses are definitely a ‘thing’ for summer.
But buyer beware: just because they’re made of wood doesn’t mean your sunglasses are eco-friendly! In fact, many wooden shades – such as Armani’s – are made of Rosewood, Zebra wood and other hardwoods that are on the brink of extinction. Whilst some brands use recycled hardwoods, most don’t, and that can only mean one thing: deforestation. Not good!
While the most eco-friendly pair of sunnies would probably be vintage models found in second hand and vintage stores, if you do want to go with the wooden trend, here is our pick of the wood sunglasses brands that are most conscious about their ethics, environmental sustainability, and of course, style.
12 Of The Best Eco Friendly Wood Sunglasses Brands
Woodies was started by a young guy, Cory Stout, who makes wood sunglasses that bring effortless style to any beach trip. His simple, classic designs mean you can pop them on and go at any time of the day, and with their incredibly lightweight, wooden frames you won’t struggle the aftermath of a day in the sun with thick indentations on your skin. And with Kendall Jenner giving them her seal of stylish approval, who are we to disagree?
Price: Incredibly cheap! Only around $25!
A pioneer in the world of wooden sunglasses, Shwood’s Canby flagship model evokes the classic wayfarer styling through refined aesthetics that laid the groundwork for an entire wooden eyewear revolution. The brand is always coming up with new, sustainable materials – including stabilized seashells (below), ethically sourced walnut wood and even pine cones- with which to craft their artisanally made glasses.
Price: From $149 to $350
Proof sunglasses are handmade from sustainably sourced woods, including re-purpose skateboard decks, to create their stylish shades. And as ‘proof’ of its dedication to sustainability, Proof gives back 12% of their profits back to non-profit organisations, including projects based in India, El Salvador, Nepal, the Philippines, and Uganda.
Three Twigs has a retro, post-modern style that was born “out of a desire to stagger into the sun and wait, near the water for the wilderness to come and deliver some very wearable timbery treats.” Highly protective polarised lenses in a variety of colours are the perfect match for light brown bamboo frames.
As for giving back, Tree Tribe plants 10 trees for every sale, meaning you’re giving back to the Earth on every purchase!
Price: Around $50
This eco friendly brand offers sunglasses that are hand crafted from bamboo, and which are fitted with polarised lenses that make them the perfect pair for driving. These sunglasses give 100% protection from harmful UV rays, while still looking super stylish.
Price: A bargain! Around $40
All of 4EST’s Sunglasses are handcrafted from the highest quality and eco-friendly bamboo, and use polarized lenses and Stainless Steel Flex hinges that allow the sunglasses to be a little forgiving. Due to the nature of the wood they use, no two pairs of their sunglasses are identical, and they’re perfect for summers hanging out poolside, as they’re guaranteed to float, even if they’re still in the case!
What we love most about this brand is that for every pair your purchase, they plant not one, but TWO trees!
Price: From $25
Woodzee believes in recycling as much material as possible, which makes sense as the brand was founded in what’s called the ‘City of Trees’ – Chico, California. The intention of the brand was to make the enterprise as green as possible; even its packaging is made of 50% recycled paper, printed using soy ink. If you’re a proud owner of any of the unisex Woodzee shades and want to change your style, you can send the company your product and they will recycle them for you.
Oh, and did I mention that for every pair of sunglasses you buy, Woodzee plants a tree?
Price: From $45-$200
Perhaps one of the most eco friendly wood sunglasses brands around is Panda. Made of 100% sustainable bamboo and encased in a natural bamboo case, these shades come in black, brown and blonde frames – one to match just about any hair colour! With both UV and UVA protection, the lenses will ensure your eyes are shielded from any harmful rays, too.
In terms of giving back, Panda partners with Optometry Giving Sight’s Gift of Vision Project, which helps fund eye operations on the blind.
Price: Around $120
Sustainable materials like cork, plant based acetate and bamboo, 100% UV protection, a ‘try before you buy’ policy and scratch-resistant lenses. What more do you want in an eco-friendly sunglasses label? Well, style I suppose, and Sticks & Sparrow has it in spades! Just check out this gorgeous tortoiseshell-print pair below, for example.
10. Zyloe Eyewear
One thing we love about this brand is that they made sunglasses from upcycled boat wood. The other thing we love is that they want you to wear their glasses forever: if anything should happen to your sunnies and they break, just send them to Zyloe, and they’ll fix them for free.
Price: Around $200
Proudly Britain’s only manufacturer of Wooden Sunglasses, Moat House makes all their frames by hand using only 100% upcycled exotic hardwoods. Devotion to quality and sustainability puts these frames in a league of their own.
Winners of Glastonbury Festival’s Green Trader Award 2016, Moat House Plant a tree in the rainforest for every pair sold.
Price: From around $150-$275
12. Hemp Eyewear
Ok, so it’s not wood, but these stone-cold cool sunglasses are even more sustainable! Hemp Eyewear is the brainchild of designer Sam Whitten, who came up with the idea after researching hemp for his final design project. Sam realised how beneficial the material was and that there were many applications hemp could be used for, and after finding a gap in the market for hemp sunglasses, Hemp Eyewear was born. Located in Edinburgh, today all Hemp Eyewear sunglasses are handmade by a team of dedicated artisans.
Price: Around $325
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