Look cool and save the planet by supporting these eco friendly wood sunglasses brands this summer!
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 this – and every – 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, in fact – are made of from endangered woods. These include Rosewood, Zebra Wood and most other hardwoods. Whilst some brands use recycled hardwoods to make their accessories, most don’t. That can only mean one thing: more deforestation. Not good!
The most eco-friendly pair of sunnies would probably be vintage models found in secondhand and vintage stores. But if you want to go with the tree-based trend, check out our pick of the best eco friendly wood sunglasses brands, below. All are highly conscious about their ethics, environmental sustainability, and of course, style.
What To Look For When Buying Wood Sunglasses
You can find wooden sunglasses with a range of lens tints. For the most part, different coloured tints are simply for there for aesthetics. However, some shades work differently with the light. For example, green lenses provide excellent contrast in low-light conditions, and pink lenses reduce eye strain and improve visual depth. In general, darker tints are best for the brightest, sunniest conditions. Lighter tints are best for low-light or hazy conditions.
Polarised lenses have a special type of filter that blocks glare. Not only is this easier on your eyes, but colours are not affected as they are with say, tinted lenses. In addition, objects look crisper and clearer. If you’re wearing sunglasses as you drive, it’s safer and easier to manager the car with polarised lenses.
Sunglasses shouldn’t just shade your eyes. They should also protect them from damaging UV rays. Ideally, opt for wooden sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection.
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 feature incredibly lightweight wooden frames that don’t leave marks on your cheeks! And with Kendall Jenner and other celebs giving them their seal of stylish approval, who are we to disagree?
Best for: Light frames
Price: Incredibly cheap! Only around $25
A pioneer in the world of wooden sunglasses, Shwood’s Canby flagship model evokes classic Wayfarer styling. They boast the refined aesthetics that laid the groundwork for an entire wooden eyewear revolution! This wood sunglasses brand is always coming up with new, sustainable materials, too. These include stabilised seashells (below), ethically sourced walnut wood and even pine cones. How cool is that?
Best for: Unique style
Price: From $149 to $350
Proof Eyewear is always handmade from sustainably sourced woods. These include re-purposed skateboard decks, making this one of the best eco friendly wood sunglasses brands for the thrasher in your life!
And as ‘proof’ of its dedication to sustainability, the brand gives back 12% of their profits back to non-profit organisations in developing countries, including India, El Salvador, Nepal, the Philippines, and Uganda.
Best for: Social responsibility
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 shades give 100% protection from harmful UV rays, while still looking super stylish. Plus, they come in a reusable sustainable bamboo tube. Why not fill it with pens, or your toothbrush and paste?
Best for: Those on a budget
Price: A bargain! Around $40
Woodzee believes in recycling as much wood as possible. It makes sense, since the brand was founded in what’s called the ‘City of Trees’ – Chico, California. The intention of the brand was to make shades that are as green as can be. And they sure do that! Check this out: if you’re a proud owner of any Woodzee shades and want to change your style, you can send your product back to the company, and they will upcycle them for you, with a new design.
But that’s not all! All Woodzee’s packaging is made of 50% recycled paper, and is printed using soy ink. Oh, and did I mention that for every pair of sunglasses you buy, Woodzee plants a tree?
Best for: Overall eco-friendliness
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. There’s basically 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. This great NGO helps fund eye operations on the blind.
Best for: High quality polarised and UV/UVA protective lenses
Price: Around $120
Proudly Britain’s only manufacturer of wooden sunglasses, Moat House makes all their frames by hand using only 100% upcycled exotic hardwoods. If you don’t find a design you like, they’ll actually make a pair of sunglasses to order, ensuring you get the pair of your dreams! We also love that Moat House will plant a tree in the rainforest for every pair sold. Devotion to quality and sustainability makes this one of the most eco-friendly wood sunglasses brands around.
Best for: Customisation and personalisation
Price: From around $150-$275
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. Definitely one of the most responsible and eco friendly wood sunglasses brands around!
Best for: Customer service and satisfaction
Price: Around $200
9. Vilo Eyewear
Get outdoors with Vilo Wood Sunglasses! They’re all handmade from sustainably sourced wood. Polarized and UV400 lenses make the perfect sunglasses for alpine skiing and water sports. They also come with option to add a custom personalised engraving to make them truly unique!
Best for: Sports enthusiasts
Price: From around $150-$275
10. Hemp Eyewear
Ok, so it’s not actually wood, but these stone-cold cool sunglasses are even more sustainable!
Hemp Eyewear is the brainchild of designer Sam Whitten. He came up with the idea after researching hemp for his final design project at uni. Sam realised how beneficial the material was, and that there were many applications hemp could be used for. After finding a gap in the market for hemp sunglasses, Hemp Eyewear was born.
Currently located in Edinburgh, all Hemp Eyewear sunglasses are handmade by a team of dedicated, well-paid artisans.
Best for: Total sustainability
Price: Around $325
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