By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
The most important accessory in your warm weather wardrobe has got to be a great pair of sunglasses – sunnies that go with any outfit, that protect you from the sun, and lend you that mysterious air of glamour. Sure, there are hundreds of styles to choose from, but if you select a pair with wood frames, your choice means you’re putting less plastic out there in the world, and as a bonus, wood sunglasses are far more durable and are less likely to snap or crack as plastic will.
Maybe for those reasons, wood sunglasses are kind of trending now – it seems that all designers from Armani to Prada are even including wood in their ranges. But some brands absolutely specialise in wood frames and are more focused on sustainability than the big luxury conglomerates. Here’s our roundup of the best wood sunglasses that we know of!
Sunglasses by Tower is a new division of Tower Paddle Boards, a beach lifestyle company that exploded in growth after airing on ABC’s Shark Tank. What makes Sunglasses By Tower unique is their Shop-In-A-Box program: Customers receive 5 pairs of sunglasses in the mail to try on for a week, order their favorite pair online, and send the box back free of charge. Made with designer frames and polarized lenses, SBT sunglasses are shipped manufacturer direct eliminating the retail mark up. Customers get a designer pair of shades for $59-$95 compared to brands charging $200 or more for the same exact quality.
2. Tree People
Handmade frames and designer, polarized lenses are what defines this bamboo based brand. The super light bamboo means no nasty marks on your nose, and we love the eco-friendly carrying case, too!
Retro styling make these flattering on just about every face shape. The brand makes their glasses in sustainable woods and uses a variety of wood stains and lense colours to ensure there’s the perfect shade for your skin tone.
Don’t you hate when you’ve been wearing your sunnies all day, and you go to take them off in the evening and they’ve totally imprinted your face? Well, with Woodies Wayfarers, that will never happen! These are light on the nose (around 50% lighter than Ray Bans, apparently) and way lighter on your wallet, too! But of course, they look just as stylish, and are better for the planet. No wonder Kendall Jenner is a fan!
5. Wood Fellas
Wood Fellas is not only a pun on Martin Scorsese’s iconic gangster movie, it’s also an homage to Mother Earth through puns. In fact, the brand’s statement is that it “celebrates Holy Wood instead of Hollywood.” The label makes sustainability undeniably chic – we especially adore its gorgeously colourful lenses.
Panda sunnies are the gift that keep on giving – mainly to those who need glasses themselves! In addition to using eco-friendly bamboo to make their stylish shades, they have also partnered with Optometry Giving Sight, so every pair of sunglasses purchased gives the Gift of Vision to someone in need. Oh, and did I mention they also make watches, too? In fact, each Panda Bamboo Watch provides the Gift of Education for developing communities around the world with every purchase.
This company was started in 2009 by a small team of true outdoorsmen and action sport fanatics who wanted to create the best wood optics for the active lifestyle, while maintaining a low carbon footprint. The label’s focus on quality is carried over into the development of the lens and frame technology, resulting in the highest quality wooden shades you can find.
The name suggests the exclusivity of the brand’s products, which are grown in nature and made in Los Angeles. Sires Crown Eyewear makes all of its wooden eyewear in-house. Founders Chris Erven and CJ Thomason spent the last 10 years developing eco-conscious eyewear that creates less waste, sending out a wave of positive change. Each pair of custom eyeglasses is hand crafted out of exotic and sustainable woods, and the designs are based on classic eyewear from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.
If you need some eco-love in your life get some Cloudfield shades – all styles are equipped with high quality 100% UVA/B blocking polarised lenses and the frames are made out of renewable material. As a totally natural product, it’s also recyclable, biodegradable, energy efficient and non-toxic. The handmade sunglasses receive a minimal treatment, so that each pair showcases the unique natural wood grain patterns.
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.
Bohten uses all kinds of sustainable materials to create great glasses: reclaimed precious woods like ebony and zebrawood, and compressed compost materials including barley, wheat, and straw, to name a few. But the brand gives back to Africans in need, too: its founder was determined to establish an eyewear manufacturing supply chain on the African Continent. Today, the brand has changed the face of Africa with a vision that advocates education, sustainable employment, social responsibility and environmental awareness.
Proudly Britain’s only manufacturer of Wooden Sunglasses, Moat House makes all their frames by hand using only 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.
13. Hemp Eyewear
These stone cold cool sunglasses are 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. 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.
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