What would the world look like if we understood that we are a part of nature? How would things change?
While focussing on sustainability and conscious living, many eyewear brands have started using eco-friendly eyewear, including an eco-friendly lens and frame. Here is an overview of a few materials that frame designers use in their quest to produce more sustainable eyewear.
Few companies make frames out of castor beans. They harvest and press the castor beans for actor oil. Later, polymerise the products to make plant based pellets. The pellets are melted down and injected into moulds to make frames and is a highly resilient and renewable source. It reduces the carbon footprint.
Examples: Pala, Proof Eye Wear
The most common material used to make eco-friendly sunglasses and eyeglasses is cellulose acetate. Companies produce cellulose acetate from natural substances like cotton, wood pulp bamboo, Italian acetate, and ethically sourced buffalo horn. It is lightweight and can be made in any colour or shape. These are hypoallergenic, good for the environment and lightweight.
Example: Cocoleni, Eco eyewear, Ozeano,MONC
Do you want to know how to select a frame? Read this article for more info Quick steps to choose a suitable spectacle frame for your pretty face
Cork is the bark of the cork oak tree, and for thousands of years, the cultivation of cork oak trees has proven to be one of our planet’s most sustainable and environmentally responsible types of farming.The harvesting process actually enhances the health and lifecycle of the forests which support high levels of biodiversity and foster a great diversity of plants and endangered species. Its growth reduces up to two times the amount of CO2 compared to other trees. The cork is stripped and treated and then hand wrapped around the temples which provides the frames with flexibility, a soft texture and incredible lightweight comfort. Cork is reusable, fire and water-resistant, insulating and biodegradable.
Examples: Sticks & Sparrow
Bamboo is the fastest-growing grass on earth. After harvesting, does not require replanting, its extensive root system continually sends up new shoots, naturally replenishing itself & making it one of the most renewable resources on earth. In addition to its natural beauty, bamboo is intrinsically light in weight, is stronger than steel and can also tolerate extreme heat conditions. It leaves a much smaller ecological footprint than comparable materials. It boasts impressive strength and durability. Not only does bamboo grow everywhere, in all sizes, but it also grows fast. Really fast. Bamboo holds the current Guinness book for World Record for the fastest growing plant, with some varieties growing up to 91 cm (35 inches) a day. It’s possible to hear the creaks and groans during the sprouting season if you have time to sit and listen to the grass grow.
All of which makes it ideally suited to eyewear frame construction. It is lighter by volume than most softwood lumber. Don’t mistake its lightness for weakness; bamboo has a tensile strength greater than steel and can withstand compression better than concrete. These qualities make it an ideal construction material as well.
Bamboo example: Wear panda
rPET-Frames made of recycled water bottles (rPET):
In the recycling facility, they sort, wash the bottles and chop them into flakes. Then, they are clean flakes are blended, melted, and turned into granules ready to be cut into chips. These chips enter our state-of-the-art facilities and are transformed into raw materials known as rPET. Our team creates 3D drawings to be used in the moulding process. Then, the frames go through a single moulding machine that turns them into beautiful frames! 5 water bottles to create one pair of fashionable eyewear. This reduces plastic waste, creates jobs and encourages a circular economy
Sunski, Genusee, Mita, Sea2See, Sea clean by GlassesUSA, Econyl (also uses old carpets destined for landfills)
Dick Moby, SKRP (Uses wooden recycled skateboard sunglasses), Dresden (limited-edition glasses made from milk bottle caps, recycled wood chips, and beer keg caps)
Recycled fishing gear and nets:
Abandoned fishing gear and nets are the most lethal forms of plastic in our ocean. Few companies partner with several mechanical recycling facilities to process various forms of end-of-life fishing gear and produced a pair of sunglasses. And as we suspected, fishing nets durable enough to last 500 years in the ocean make for super-strong sunglasses frames. These produce sustainable, recycled eyewear. These nets would last decades in the oceans, hence the sunglasses frames last you a lifetime.
The manufacturers separate the fishing gear by type of polymer, and recycle it through a mechanical process of shredding, washing and agglomeration. Further, these companies tie up with NGOs that collect ocean waste and process it into their raw material.
The raw material goes to a processing centre. Manufacturers sort, clean, shred, dry, and prep it. The prepped material gets a bit of pigment and stabilizer and is extruded into plastic granules to mould.
Example: Waterhaul, Econyl
Ceramic nose pads
Some companies make ceramic nose pads from heat-hardened clay and earthen material.
Recyclable textile scraps:
These companies make eyeframes from textile waste products. They gather textiles from different sources. Then, the textile yarn is reprocessed to produce frames.
Do you know any more companies that use offbeat raw materials to make glass frames? Write to us in the comment section.