Just when you thought sunglasses couldn’t get any cooler…
Did you know that Americans buy 96 million pairs of sunglasses every year? (Statistic Brain.) Combine that with sunglasses purchased by people from other countries, and you can see it’s a massive market for this accessory! After your cell phone charger, sunscreen, razor, and toothbrush – sunglasses are the most common item that you’ll forget to pack when leaving for vacation. (Statista.) Oops, better buy a new pair! When we read statistics like those, we can’t help thinking about plastic. Let’s face it: sunglasses have traditionally been made of plastic. We can only imagine that a few too many pairs have been left at the beach and ended up in the sea, adding to the plastic disaster we have going on in the world’s oceans right now. Thankfully, sunglasses made with recycled materials are starting to hit the beaches and streets around the world and, frankly, they can’t get here fastest enough!
Here are 5 brands making super cool sunglasses out of recycled materials:
On their website, Blue Planet says their goals are “straightforward: to help protect the planet, change lives, and have fun.” Founded in Santa Barbara, California, the company has been hard at work since 2009 bringing socially responsible and eco-friendly eyewear to people all over the world. They don’t just stick to the basics, either. They strive to satisfy all kinds of customers with eyewear made from a range of sustainable materials, including recycled plastic, recycled metal, wood, bamboo, and cork. Blue Planet offers variety with their lenses as well. They provide standard polarized lenses as well as lenses with maximum UV protection for extra-sensitive eyes. In addition to their super cool sunglasses, they also make reading glasses. With every pair of glasses they sell, Blue Planet donates a pair of glasses to someone in need via their global sight giving partners. To date, they’ve helped over 400,000 visually impaired people around the world.
Bureo collects old fishing nets that are polluting the ocean, breaks them down into tiny pellets, and recycles them into a recycled plastic that makes some sharp-looking shades. Bureo’s founders created a recycling program in Chile dubbed “Net Positiva,” which provides collection points where fishermen and other locals can drop off discarded fishing nets that are polluting the ocean and harming marine life. According to Bureo, fishing nets make up 10% of the plastic pollution in the ocean. The Net Positiva program gets the fishing nets out of the sea, while providing financial incentives to local communities to help. Bureo also makes other recycled products, like skateboards and Frisbees. We look forward to seeing what they’ll develop next.
Dex Shades might win the award for the gnarliest recycled sunglasses you can find. They recycle old skateboards and convert them into cool sunglasses that are subtly colorful and unique. Their quality sunglasses are super lightweight (less than 1 oz.), have polarized lenses, and spring-fit hinges for laid back comfort. As if you’d need more persuading beyond how cool these eco sunglasses are, Dex Shades plants a tree for every product they sell.
Unwilling to sit back and let the eight million metric tons of plastic pollution destroy our oceans, the founders of Norton Point have made it their mission to clean up the mess and recycle ocean plastic into high-quality, durable sunglasses. Their sunglasses are all made with recycled ocean plastic and plant-based materials. Based in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, Norton Point donates 5% of their net profits to global ocean clean-up, education, and remediation practices. They offer a large selection of men’s and women’s sunglasses, all of which come standard with ultra-strong stainless steel hinges. Their lenses feature 100% UVA and UVB protection and an anti-reflective coating so you’ll be ready for the most intensely sunny days.
Solo Eyewear isn’t just a brand; it’s a remarkable project. Solo is devoted to service and giving back, and with every pair of sunglasses they sell, they help restore the vision of a person in need, whether it be an elderly person in an underdeveloped nation thousands of miles away or an impoverished child closer to home. Solo Eyewear’s sunglasses are made with 100% sustainable materials, including repurposed bamboo and recycled plastic, plus they’re lightweight and durable. Their lenses are UV protected and prescription-friendly, and when it comes to selection, they offer a variety of shapes and colors. If you want to look great and be a part of something bigger, you can’t go wrong with Solo Eyewear.