Our eyes speak a language all their own. When we cover up our eyes with dark sunglasses, we want the shades to speak as loud as our gaze. That’s why stylish, sustainable sunglasses matter.
European designers likeand have lines of eye-catching eyewear that are also environmentally friendly. Stella McCartney’s summer 2012 collection boasted a gaggle of sustainable sunglasses made of injected bio-plastic. It’s made of 54% castor oil seeds, and plasticisers that are naturally derived from citric acid. The castor plants are grown organically, and thrive in semi-arid locations with poor soil. They need very little water. Some of Stella McCartney’s more popular sustainable sunglasses have a vintage, “cat’s goggles” look (a more rounded look than the slanty “cat’s eyes”).
Gucci also has a line of sustainable sunglasses and eyewear made of castor seeds. Working hand-in-hand with Safilo, one of the largest international eyewear developers, Gucci released four models in fall 2011, and is on track to create more sustainable sunglasses to help their customers stay stylish without sacrificing the planet. The first models were in Gucci’s famous red and green colors. Gucci and Safilo hope to find more sturdy, viable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics to help reduce their environmental footprints.
Even classic Wayfarers are seeing an eco-upgrade. Waiting for the Sun created the “Madame Wayfarer,” a modern uptake on the original sunglasses made with bamboo frames. The front of the frames have a slight color blocking and textured feature that adds dimension to the look.
You can find these and more sustainable sunglasses in the U.S. at high-end suppliers like Sunglass Hut. Can’t afford the price tag? Getting a “solar job” with a shades seller can help–but only if you know your Oakleys from your Ray-Bans, and can match the right frames to the right face.
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