Environmentally Friendly - it’s a big word (or two actually), which for some sunglasses companies means a lot, whilst for others, doesn’t mean anything at all, aside from being a useful marketing tool. For those of us who want to be more environmentally aware, the last thing we want to do is purchase something that is telling us it’s eco-friendly and sustainable when it’s as planet-friendly as an aerosol can from the nineties. So, what What to Look For In a Truly Sunglasses Brand?
Environmentally friendly materials
The heart of any environmentally friendly brand is clearly the materials with which it manufactures its products. Ideally you’re looking for natural materials, made with as limited chemical treatment and minimal environmental impact in the manufacturing process as possible. Most natural materials obviously biodegrade faster than man-made polymers and plastics, but at the same time, try to be conscious of growing times too. When it comes to sunglasses, frames that are made from quick-growing bamboo and wood, represent raw materials that can be replaced easily with minimal environmental disruption.
Some sunglasses may claim to be sustainable and environmentally-friendly since they are made from cotton-based acetate - however whilst cotton itself is easily and quickly grown, turning it into a acetate often requires a lot of chemical treatment, as well as the growing of cotton itself drawing on significant water resources that have in the past turned fertile lands arid.
Sustainable wood sources
Having said that, just because something isn’t made of wood doesn’t mean it can’t be environmentally friendly. Being environmentally friendly includes preserving what we currently have, and protecting natural resources, so sunglass brands that focus on durability or espouse the concept of the circular economy are also a great movement towards a sustainable future. Some brands trawl the ocean for plastics, reconstituting them into wearables and closing the loop on waste. Other brands recycle aluminum and other materials destined for landfill so that they end up reborn as a new product rather than rubbish.
Durable and made to last
Moving beyond the material, the sunglasses you buy should be made to last. Robust designs and a timeless appearance demonstrate that the brand wants its pieces to last for more than just a season. Remember: one less pair of sunglasses to buy means one less pair of sunglasses at landfill.
High ethical standards
Finally, the strongest sustainable brands are those that go further than the above, aiming also for the highest ethical practice. This means paying a fair wage to their manufacturers, ensuring safe working conditions, and having a transparent logistics-chain in place. Beyond this, it’s always good for the brands you support to give back to both society and planet earth, pledging charity donations for the less fortunate, and replanting/reforestation of the resources they are using.
There might be a lot to consider when it comes to choosing an environmentally friendly sunglasses brand, but let’s all bear in mind it’s much easier than finding a new planet.
Choose wisely, choose environmentally friendly.
Visit BEINGBAR.COM for more inspiration
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At BEINGBAR we walk the talk. Our journey started in 2011 and we set out to make sustainable fashion accessories and eyewear. It's the core pillar of what we do. Unlike big companies we didn't just carefully change one production line to "see how the market responds". We had an idea about how to do things better and as a team we simply made it happen. And since that moment we work everyday to make it better.
Most of our eyewear is made with fastgrowing bamboo elements and we avoid the use of plastics at all cost in products, production and logisics. And more importantly, we make sure or products are built to last, not to replace.