Wooden sunglasses and bamboo sunglasses make a fashion forward statement in today’s world, and the selection of frame styles and lenses has never been more diverse. I researched a variety of wood-framed and bamboo sunglasses brands and present my faves them here.
People often refer to bamboo as a wood, as in “bamboo wood sunglasses,” because bamboo has the same aesthetic qualities as real wood. However, bamboo is actually a fast-growing grass – it holds the world’s record for the fastest growing plant.
In addition to being Earth-friendly, both wood and bamboo sunglasses are lightweight, so they’re comfortable enough to wear all day long. Not to mention, many styles float, making them the perfect accessory for having fun in the water on a sunny summer day.
Today, you can find real wood sunglasses in cherry wood, maple, pear, and other varieties. And because every tree is different, no two pairs are exactly alike. Some designers are also making sunglasses from reclaimed wood that was previously used for flooring, skateboard decks, and other products.
Aside from the aesthetics, why should you buy sunglasses that are made with wood frames, bamboo, or other sustainable materials?
All over the world, people wear sunglasses. This year, Americans alone will buy 200 million pairs. With our growing plastic pollution crisis, it only makes sense to reduce the amount of virgin plastic we buy. Purchasing sunglasses that use less virgin plastic, or none at all, is the optimal way to go.
Here are some innovative brands making cool sunglasses with wood and bamboo frames:
As the name implies, Woodies is all about wood sunglasses. Their brand has a fun retro vibe, but their materials, including polarized lenses, are all cutting edge. The company is devoted to making petrol-plastic a thing of the past. Woodies offers a broad selection of men’s and women’s frame shapes in an impressive collection of woods, including rose wood, zebra wood, walnut, and more.
Here’s a promo video for Woodies:
Designer Paul Ven creates artisanal real wood sunglasses in walnut, ebony, zebra wood, oak, and maple. Paul Ven’s designed are created in London, and their Etsy page claims,
“People (especially in London and probably other big cities) who don’t have these wood sunglasses will express high levels of jealousy towards you. They’re a real head turner. So be noticed, and be cheeky as a fox.”
They come with polarized, shatterproof polycarbonate lenses that offer 100% UVA/UVB protection, and ever pair has stainless steel spring hinges. But wait, there’s more: These babies float.
Based in Sudbury, Canada, Mitchell Made is another designer that crafts beautiful wood and bamboo sunglasses by hand. Their styles are unique, but with a vintage feel. Mitchell Made ships their sunglasses with a faux leather case.
Mr. Woodini hand makes their chic, eco-friendly sunglasses with wood and recycled materials. Their brand was born out of a desire to be innovative and refreshing, while integrating environmental consciousness into their designs. All of their wood sunglasses incorporate high-quality lenses that have 400UV protection, complying with sunny Australia’s strictest standards.
Visit their Etsy store to see their variety of styles that will looks great on anyone. All of their shades come in eco-friendly packaging, and with Etsy’s commitment to offset CO2 for all of their artisans’ shipping, you can’t go wrong with these cool shades.
Who says Cat Woman can’t be eco-chic? The sleek wooden cat eye shades are made with walnut wood in Riga, Latvia. Woodeer makes a variety of other frames shapes, as well as other accessories, like watches, with all-natural wood.
If you’ve got a party coming up and want to give your guests a fun, eco-friendly gift, check out the selection of custom wood and bamboo sunglasses offered by Etsy artisans. A number of companies, like My Personal Memories, will engrave names and slogans on the arms of the shades.
4est Shades’ wooden sunglasses are all natural and handmade out of real maple and cherry wood. The company also make styles in bamboo.
All of their eco-friendly sunglasses are polarized to provide the UV protection you’d expect from any top brand. Plus, their high-quality wooden and bamboo sunglasses are super durable. Every pair comes with an engraved bamboo case and a microfiber cloth for upkeep and safekeeping. Eco-conscious in both product and practice, 4est Shades plants two trees for every pair of sunglasses they sell.
Blue Planet is another socially conscious eyewear company whose brand means a lot more than quality eyewear. Based in Santa Barbara, California, they create sunglasses and corrective eyewear with a variety of sustainable materials, including wood, bamboo, recycled metal, and recycled plastic. You can see their recycled styles in my post “Recycled Sunglasses: Look Good While Doing Good.”
With every pair of glasses Blue Planet sells, they donate a pair of glasses to a person in need through their charitable partners. To date, they’ve improved the sight for over 400,000 visually impaired people around the world.
Here’s a video featuring 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:
Socially conscious brand Proof Eyewear donates 12% of their annual profits to charitable organizations around the world. They started making their wooden sunglasses from scraps in the family’s sawmill, and they eventually expanded to using recycled aluminum and bioplastics in their frames.
Known as the “Shark Tank Sunglasses,” Proof Sunglasses had their television debut on the popular show Shark Tank a few years ago. I loved story behind these socially conscious shades when I heard it. Little did I imagine at the time that I would be blogging about Proof Eyewear someday.
In their wood framed sunglasses, Proof used FSC certified wood. FSC is short for the Forest Stewardship Council, which is an international nonprofit that sets global standards for forest products. These standards help to promote eco-friendly, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.
Woodzee hand makes their wood framed sunglasses in a variety of sustainable and reclaimed woods, including madrone, oak, and maple. Their shades are comfortable and lightweight, and each pair is one of a kind. All of their lenses are polarized with 100% UV400 protection.
Tree Tribe is an outdoor lifestyle brand that plants a whopping 10 trees for every sale they make. They design a number of eco-friendly products, including water bottles, eco-conscious clothing, and of course – cool, sustainable sunglasses.
Their real wood sunglasses have interchangeable, scratch resistant polarized lenses that offer UV400 protection. You can easily swap out their lenses for prescription lenses, or if you’re just in the mood to change lens colors.
Zoni Wear hand makes wooden sunglasses, watches, and other accessories in their workshop in Plymouth, New Hampshire. They’ll custom engrave your shades to make them all your own or the perfect gift. They have some unique lens styles too, so you can stand out from the crowd.
Winkwood wooden sunglasses are made in Melbourne, Australia. Their sunglasses are made with reclaimed skateboard wood, zebra wood, vera wood, cherry wood, aluminum, and other materials.
If you like the chunky-framed look, you’ll love LeBrox’s skateboard wood sunglasses. They’re handmade with layers of natural wood and reclaimed wooden skateboard decks. And every pair comes with polarized lenses. LeBrox also makes a few styles with bamboo frames.
To check out some cool sunglasses made with reclaimed skateboard wood, check out my post “Recycled Sunglasses: Look Good While Doing Good.”
You can find bamboo frame sunglasses in a variety of styles today, whether you’re looking for something modern or more traditional. Bamboo is a superstar sustainable material that makes great sunglasses. It’s easy to grow without much water, it grows fast, and it’s naturally anti-bacterial and water-resistant.
Dress Positive makes a variety of colorful, hip sunglasses in sustainable bamboo, from round to aviators to wayfarers, and more. Check out their Etsy story to find the perfect frame for your personal style.
Robin Wood is a designer I found on Etsy that handmakes artisanal sunglasses from sustainable bamboo. Every pair has polarized lenses with UV400 protection, and they come with a two-year warranty. The company also designs wooden watches that have eco-friendly cork wristbands, so be sure to check out their Etsy store.
To see more eco-conscious sunglasses, check out: