Although sunglasses made from recycled plastic are a great idea for pottering around town or the garden, they are not such a good idea if you are at the beach or a sailor. Because if you accidentally lost them, they obviously don’t biodegrade in the sea, and could harm marine life. So here are some biodegradable frames (obviously the lenses are not yet biodegradable, but let’s start where we are). Ecocult has a good post on issues with ‘recycled plastic sunglasses’. Also see safe & natural sun protection.
It can be confusing buying sunglasses. In a nutshell, look for ones that carry the European Standard CE Mark, UV 400 or British Standard Mark, for a safe level of protection. Ensuring sunglasses for driving are in the 0 to 3 filter category (4 is too dark) and don’t use ones with scratches, keep glasses in their protective case. It’s important to measure your pupillary distance before you buy, to avoid eyestrain. These sunglasses are made with biodegradable materials. These will compost at landfill under the right conditions (not in your home compost bin).
Bird has become the first to be certified as environmentally-sustainable with B-Corp. All their materials are sustainable and cruelty-free, and they give back by providing solar light to people in developing countries. The sunglasses are sold in beautiful cork (no trees cut down) cases, and the cleaning cloths are made from recycled plastic bottles. Even the mailing bags are made from sugar cane.
The frames are made from bamboo and wood and built to last, and then will biodegrade, while the laminated wood aluminium frames can be separated and recycled. You can alternatively send frames back for recycling, and get a 50% discount on the next pair. The site has a face shape guide and virtual try-on service.
Uunique Unisex Sunglasses have bamboo frames and polarised thermal cures lenses, for clear vision and to protect against glare and UV radiation. They feature an eco case made from bamboo wood and an anti-reflective coating to withstand accidental impact. Each pair has stunning wood grain and is available in several colours: blue, beige, black/beige, black, red or yellow. 1% of proceeds go to eco charities.
Wooden Unisex Lenos Sunglasses are made with polarised thermal cured lenses and an anti-reflective coating, sold in a bamboo case. In beige or tan.
This vegan leather glasses case is beautifully crafted, and makes an ideal gift. Perfect to protect glasses when not in use, the stylish case is soft and lightweight, and made more special with personalised letters embossed on the bottom left corner (optional). Packaged in a signature box with branding on the bottom right corner.
The unique wraparound closure design, makes access to your glasses easy. And the soft case comfortably fits inside your pocket or bag. Made using premium vegan leather with a felt interior, the case keeps your eyewear safe and scratch-free. The case includes a soft microfiber cleaning cloth, to keep your glasses in perfect condition. Made with ethically-sourced vegan leather, wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Bambooka makes stylish bamboo wood sunglasses. Handmade by a social enterprise, each pair sold pays for an eye test and vision correction for those in need, in 5 African countries.