21 Recycled Sunglasses: The Best Eco-Friendly Brands

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Men's and Women's Recycled Sunglasses

What’s better than a great looking pair of sunglasses? Two words: recycled sunglasses. I was super excited to find so many socially conscious companies making stylish eco-friendly sunglasses out of recycled materials, as well as bioplastic materials like cellulose acetate. When you learn about the inspiration behind some of these sustainable sunglasses brands, plus the way so many give back by supporting charitable causes, I think you’ll feel as psyched as I did when you read about them.

As you’re probably already aware, we’re experiencing a global plastic waste crisis. So, recycling plastic into other useful products helps to keep it out of our oceans and landfills – at least for a bit longer. It turns out that sunglasses are an ideal use for recycled materials, as they require only small pieces. As a result, product designers can create cool sunglasses from small material scraps. Consequently, we’re starting to see some innovative sunglasses made with recycled and upcycled materials. The groundbreaking companies showcased here are making recycled sunglasses out of recycled plastic waste from the ocean, as well as a host of other reclaimed materials, including skateboard decks, aluminum, wood flooring, vinyl records, and more.

We humans buy a lot of sunglasses.

People all over the world wear sunglasses, and let’s admit it – many of us own more than one pair. In 2019, it’s expected that Americans alone will buy over 200 million pairs of sunglasses. (Statista.) When you combine this with the number purchased by people from other countries, you can see there’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. So, what do you do? You buy a new pair.

Thankfully, recycled sunglasses and those made with other eco-friendly materials, like wood, bamboo, and bioplastic, are hitting the beaches and streets around the world. And they can’t get here fastest enough! In addition to recycled sunglasses, if you’d like to see cool shades made from other eco-friendly materials, check out my post on wood frame and bamboo sunglasses.

1. Blue Planet Eyewear Recycled Sunglasses

Recycled Sunglasses by Blue Planet Eyewear

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.

Women's Recycled Sunglasses by Blue Planet EyewearWith every pair of glasses they sell, Blue Planet donates a pair to someone in need via their global sight giving partners. To date, they’ve helped over 400,000 visually impaired people around the world.

Here’s Lisa Lawenda, a VP at Blue Planet, and Matt Weinstein, the company’s brand manager, talking about Blue Planet’s Visualize Change program, which helps restore sight for people around the world.:

Blue Planet offers a variety of lenses as well. They provide standard polarized lenses and lenses with maximum UV protection for extra-sensitive eyes. In addition to their super cool sunglasses, they also make reading glasses.

Price: $34.95 – $54.95

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2. Norton Point Recycled Ocean Plastic Sunglasses

Recycled Plastic Sunglasses by Norton Point

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.

Plastic Sunglasses by Norton Point

Here’s a video featuring Shaun Frankson, co-founder of ThePlasticBank, an organization that helps monetize plastic waste by exchanging it for currency to help people in impoverished places. Shaun talks about how Norton Point is repurposing plastic from by ThePlasticBank into their eco-friendly shades.

Norton Point offers a large selection of men’s and women’s sunglasses, all of which come standard with solid 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.

Price: $89.00 – $129.00

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3. Sustainable Sunglasses by Solo Eyewear

Socially Conscious, 100% Sustainable Sunglasses by Solo Eyewear

Solo Eyewear isn’t just a brand; it’s a remarkable project. Solo is devoted to service and giving back: With every pair of sunglasses they sell, they help restore the vision of a person in need, whether it’s an elderly person in an underdeveloped nation thousands of miles away or an impoverished child closer to home.

Eco-Friendly Sunglasses by Solo EyewearSolo Eyewear’s sunglasses are made with 100% sustainable materials, including recycled plastic and repurposed bamboo, plus they’re lightweight and durable. Their lenses are UV protected and prescription-friendly. When it comes to selection, Solo offers a variety of shapes and colors. If you want to look great and be a part of something greater, you can’t go wrong with Solo Eyewear.

Price: $59.00 – $95.00

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4. Proof Recycled Metal Sunglasses

Recycled Metal Sunglasses by Proof Eyewear

A pioneer in the sustainable eyewear industry, Boise, Idaho-based Proof Eyewear has been making eco-friendly sunglasses since 2010. In addition to using sustainable materials in their products, Proof donates to charitable organization around the world. Through their Do Good Program, they donate 12% of their annual profits to these causes.

Recycled Metal Sunglasses by Proof Eyewear

Proof integrates sustainable materials like recycled aluminum, FSC-certified wood, and recycled skateboard decks into their designs. And, they use high-quality lenses. All of their lenses are UVA and UVB protected. If you need prescription lenses, you can easily switch out their standard lenses for your own.

Here’s a video from Proof featuring their aviators with recycled aluminum frames:

Price: $129.95

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5. Recycled Wood and Skateboard Sunglasses by Proof

Recycled Wood and Skateboard Sunglasses by Proof

Recycled Wood and Skateboard Sunglasses by Proof - Side ViewHere’s a video of how Proof converts old skateboard decks into their cool reclaimed wood sunglasses.

Price: $110.00

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6. Polarized Sunglasses with Recycled Skateboard Frames by Dex Shades

Recycled Skateboard Sunglasses by Dex Shades

Dex Shades is another brand that’s recycling used skateboard decks and converting them into high quality shades. Each pair of their eco-friendly skateboard sunglasses is subtly colorful and unique. Plus, they’re comfortable to wear and super lightweight, weighing less than 1 oz. Dex Shades have polarized lenses and spring-fit hinges for laid back comfort. And as if you need more persuading beyond how cool these sunglasses are, Dex Shades plants a tree for every product they sell.

Recycled Skateboard Sunglasses by Dex Shades - Back View

Price: $78.00

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7. Skateboard Sunglasses by 7plis

Luxury Recycled Skateboard Sunglasses by 7plis

If there’s a luxury brand of skateboard sunglasses, it has to be 7plis. They have a high price point, but these recycled shades have a sleek look that’s all their own. 7plis mixes chic design with a cool, distressed look that conveys the history of the materials. You can imagine some gnarly stunts were done on the skateboards from which these sunglasses originated. The lenses all offer 100% UV protection.

Colorful Recycled Skateboard Sunglasses by 7plis Wayfarers

Price: $575.95

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8. Sunglasses Made from Recycled Skateboards by Amoloma
Sunglasses Made from Recycled Skateboards by Amoloma

Amoloma is another eco-conscious brand that makes cool shades out of recycled and Earth-friendly materials, including used skateboards. They offer a range of color combinations, including red, green, black, brown, and blue. All of their lenses are polarized for optimal UV protection.

Price: $69.00 – $119.00

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9. Skateboard Sunglasses by Sk8rings

Orange Cat Eye Sunglasses Made with Recycled Skateboards

Sk8rings is another designer that creates unique, colorful sunglasses made with upcycled skateboards. Based in Serbia, they also make a range of other recycled items, including rings, guitars, guitar knobs, and more. The lenses on their recycled sunglasses are polarized and offer 100% UV protection.

Price: $80.39

Buy on Etsy

 

10. Upcycled Vinyl Records Eyewear by Spexwax

If you’re a music fan, these cool sunglasses made with upcycled vinyl records are a must-have. San Diego-based Spexwax reclaims unplayable vinyl records and turns them into cutting edge eyewear that epitomizes urban cool. They call their sunglasses “upcycled art for your face.” I wholeheartedly agree.

Recycled Vinyl Records Sunglasses by Spexwax

 

11. Recycled Records Sunglasses by Vinylize

Recycled Records Sunglasses by Vinylize

Base in Budapest, Vinylize also hand makes great looking eyewear from upcycled vinyl records.

Price: $495.00

 

12. Woodzee Sunglasses in Reclaimed Wood

Recycled Wood Sunglasses by Woodzee

Woodzee handcrafts their recycled wood sunglasses from reclaimed oak, madrone, and maple hardwood flooring. Each pair is unique. Their shades are comfortable and lightweight, weighing less than 1.5 oz. And their lenses are polarized with 100% UV400 protection.

Recycled Wood Sunglasses by Woodzee with Black Frames

Here’s a video from Woodzee:

Price: $54.99 – $74.99

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13. Recycled Wine Cork Sunglasses by Moon Shades

Recycled Wine Cork Sunglasses

For all of you wine lovers (yeah, I’m sure there are a few of you out there :o), check out these truly unique sunglasses make with recycled wine corks. Moon Shades actually uses the byproducts from the wine cork manufacturing process. This means these sunglasses are made with reclaimed, natural sustainable materials. It’s hard to get better than that on the eco-friendly scale! The lenses on these eco-conscious shades are polarized. And, as you can see in the photo, these sunglasses float, plus that have comfortable flexibly arms. Recycled Wine Cork Sunglasses Round Frames

Price: $111.21

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14. Upcycled African Fabric Sunglasses by Zanziba Ri

Unique African Fabric Sunglasses by Zanziba Ri

In a world of wayfarers and aviators, there is Zanziba Ri, offering sunglasses that are unlike any I have ever seen before. They incorporate upcycled African fabrics into their unique designs, creating beautiful sunglasses that will undoubtedly have people stopping you in the street and asking, “Where did you get those shades?” Not stopping at beautiful design, the company donates 10% of proceeds to educational programs in Tanzania.

Upcycled African Fabric Sunglasses by Zanziba Ri with Blue Lenses

Price: $75.00

Buy on Etsy

 

Biodegradable Sunglasses

15. Cellulose Acetate Sunglasses by Zeal Optics

Cellulose Acetate Sunglasses by Zeal Optics

In addition to recycled plastic, today you can find some great styles of sunglasses that are made with cellulose acetate, which is a synthetic compound that is derived from plant cellulose. Cellulose is a readily biodegradable substance by organisms that use cellulose enzymes. So, cellulose acetate, depending on how it’s made and on environmental conditions, is more easily biodegradable than traditional petrol-plastic.

Zeal Optics makes a variety of cool bioplastic shades with cellulose acetate frames.

Price: ~$49.00 – $150.00

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16. Eco Sunglasses by Dzim Eco Eyewear

Biodegradable Sunglasses by Dzim Eco Eyewear

Dzim Eco Eyewear makes cool sunglasses in a wide variety of styles, from wayfarers to aviators, mirrored lenses, and more, and the bioplastic frames 100% biodegradable and made with renewable materials. They have polarized, impact- and scratch-resistant frames. In addition, Dzim ships their eco sunglasses in a cotton cleaning back and minimalist 70% recycled and recyclable packaging.

Price: ~$34.00 – $122.00

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Other Cool Recycled Sunglasses

17. Bureo Recycled Fishing Net Sunglasses

Recycled Fishing Net Sunglasses by Bureo

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 very cool 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 with collection. Bureo also makes other recycled products, like skateboards and Frisbees. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ll develop next.

Here’s a video from Bureo about the Net Positiva program:

Price: $199.00

 

18. Sustainable, Recycled Sunglasses by Karün

Recycled Sunglasses by Karun

Karün is a sustainable eyewear company based in Sweden that makes sunglasses with recycled fishing nets, recycled carbon fiber, recycled denim scraps, and other Earth-friendly materials. The company credits nature as their best “inventor and teacher.” With strong, eco-conscious values, the Karün team is focused on creating “a movement of like-minded people that trust that we can change the way we interact with our planet. We want to prove that it is possible to make the best quality products, but in a completely different way.”

Sustainable Sunglasses by KarunPrice: €99.00 – €215.00

 

19. Recycled Acetate Sunglasses by Dick Moby

Recycled Acetate Sunglasses by Dick Moby

Dick Moby’s sunglasses frames are made with 97% recycled acetate. Based in the Netherlands, the company puts a special emphasis on reducing plastic waste by continually recycling it. They offer a wide variety of frames shapes and colors.

Price: €185.00

 

20. Upcycled Denim Sunglasses by Mosevic

Upcycled Denim Sunglasses by Mosevic

Mosevic is a UK-based sustainable accessories company that upcycles denim and creates unique, eco-friendly sunglasses and phone cases. All of their products are handmade in Cornwall, England.

Price: 149.00

 

21. Paper Sunglasses by Paper & Paper

Upcycled Paper Frame Sunglasses by Paper & Paper

Paper & Paper is a Spanish company whose philosophy is to “move away from fast-fashion to embrace the handmade movement.” They create their one-of-a-kind frames by laser-cutting upcycled paper pieces and then placing them by hand into an acetate base. The process gives their eyeglass frames a cool 3D effect. The company offers frames made from comic books, newspapers, and other types of paper.

Price: 275.00

 

To see more eco-conscious sunglasses, check out my post on:

Wood and Bamboo Sunglasses

Wood Frame and Bamboo Sunglasses

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