Manufacturers produce conventional sunglasses with materials like polycarbonate plastic. To keep out the glare with a much lighter ecological footprint, we can choose sunglasses made from recycled plastic and sustainable materials. Here, we feature 15 eco-friendly eyewear brands you can patronize. First, we briefly explain the eco-friendly raw materials used to make sustainable sunglasses.
There are various sustainable materials used to produce eco-friendly sunglasses. These eco-friendly materials include metal, wood, acetate, recycled plastic, turtle shell, and buffalo horns (the latter two are harvested at the end of life and often otherwise unused rather than from live animals). However, we will briefly discuss three primary materials used for environmentally friendly sunglasses.
Wood is a better raw material than bio-acetate and cellulose acetate because it is renewable and, when sustainably harvested, better for the environment. As we plant trees to facilitate the production of sunglasses, we also help produce more clean air.
Bio-based acetate is different from cellulose acetate because it uses naturally derived plasticizers. Cellulose acetate is from the cotton plant- a plant-based form of plastic. They process it by purifying wood and cotton pulp.
It is best to recycle materials that take hundreds of years to decay to reduce the damage of plastics in our environment. These recycled materials include recycled plastic bottles and other plastic-based objects like fishing nets, skateboards, nylons, etc. When we use recycled plastic for a pair of sunglasses, we support a circular economy and reduce the environmental footprint of raw plastic production on the planet.
Related: You might also like our recommendations of wooden and bamboo sunglasses, and grab some zero-waste sunscreen if you're out in the sun for a long time. Check out our 5 sun safety tips to stay safe in the sun.
Features: cotton-based acetate, aluminum & wood materials, polarized anti-reflective lens, BPA free.
Proof Eyewear offers a variety of sustainable glasses. Proof’s materials of choice include sustainably harvested wood, recycled aluminum, and biodegradable cotton acetate, which make up their sunglass collections. Every pair of sunglasses they sell is free from BPA.
The sunglasses are lightweight, and their resistance to sweat prevents them from sliding down your face. Proof has a wide range of frame styles for both men and women to suit your look, from classic lines to options with polarized lenses perfect for the outdoors.
Since humble beginnings in a garage in 2010, like many other great business success stories, Proof has gone on to pioneer handcrafted sustainable sunglasses. With a long history of giving back for over a decade, the brand has recently focused its efforts on planting five trees for every frame purchased. They also do a great line of optical frames for those looking for prescription lenses.
Features: acetate, stainless steel & wood material, non-polarized and polarized lenses.
They have a wide range of classic sunglass styles designed to sit pretty on your face and are relatively affordable. They're so stylish and simple, and you can wear them to casual and formal occasions.
Woodzee's slogan, "Style & Nature" represents their dedication to only using renewable materials for their products. They use recycled stock paper for packaging, brushed cotton for pouches, and natural plant-based plastics for their sunglasses. They also have a colorful line (pictured) made from recycled skateboards. Apart from their focus on producing fashionable sunglasses, they are also particular about the impact of their manufacturing activities on the environment.
Also, their sustainability movement birthed the Recycle Program in 2013. The Recycle Program is an initiative that prevents the dumping of used sunglasses in landfills, enabling customers to send back their old glasses for recycling. Then, they use some parts of these sunglasses to produce new sunglasses and repair customers' glasses.
Features: bamboo, polarized lens
WearPanda was one of the first sustainable sunglasses brands. They produce eco-friendly sunglasses with sustainably sourced 100% FSC-certified bamboo. You'll love these sustainable sunglasses for their lightweight and comfortable feel.
These high-quality glasses have UVA/UVB protection lenses made from recycled polycarbonate. They are dark enough to protect your eyes from the sun and light enough to appreciate everything the outdoors offers. Also, the brand's sustainable packaging is top-notch. They deliver your glasses in recycled cardboard, with a bamboo case and microfiber cloth pouch.
As an effort to contribute positively to the environment and the people in it, they started a global charitable network, donating to various organizations with every purchase you make. Optometry Giving Sight gives free eye care services to those that can't afford it, while Kiva, a non-profit organization, allows students and people with low income to borrow money to reduce poverty.
Also, they partner with organizations that restore forests globally and educate the masses. As you purchase stylish WearPanda sunglasses to wear to the beach, you contribute to the environment and society in many ways.
Features: wood & cotton pulp, polarized & non-polarized lenses.
Covry is a sustainable eyewear company that also offers prescription eyeglasses that they create from plant-based materials, mainly cotton and sustainably sourced wood pulp. The packaging also includes a vegan leather case and a cleaning cloth. Each frame is handmade, reportedly carved by forty artisans in limited quantities. They produce limited quantities to reduce waste and produce new, lovely styles for you to choose from.
A pair of Covry’s sustainable sunglasses sit comfortably on your face without sliding down your nose. These sustainable sunglasses specifically cater to people with low-nose bridges. They also offer a wide range of stylish and functional designs for casual outings, people with lots of screen time, and just about anyone or any occasion.
They provide viable options that allow you to customize your sunglasses as you deem fit. You can get prescription lenses as high as +/- 7.5. Also, you can get a custom order if your prescription lens is outside the specified range.
Features: cotton acetate, stainless steel, UVA/UVB lenses.
Bonnie Clyde offers a wide range of stylish, sustainable fashion sunglasses that are comfortable. The brand used biodegradable materials like Italian cotton acetate to produce their sunglasses. They also use stainless steel for their hinges and handles.
You don’t have to worry about losing your glasses to scratch marks because all sunglasses sold by Bonnie Clyde have an anti-scratch coating. Their Love Story collection is perfect for someone who rides a bike or goes surfing.
They offer a guide for sizing and measurement. So you can pick the perfect luxury pair of sunglasses for your facial structure at a fair price. Although they do not offer prescription lenses, their sunglasses are optic-friendly. You can take them to your optometrist to fix your prescribed lens.
Features: plant-based bio acetate, vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, recycled plastic.
Pala eyewear is a small business that offers sustainable glasses for men and women. The brand uses natural materials such as bio acetate and recycled materials to produce fashionable sunglasses. They create their glass cases from recycled materials and microfiber bags from plastic bottles.
Pala sunglasses is a brand to love because they aim to reduce plastic pollution by recycling plastic bottles. They maintain a sustainable work ethic and supply chain. Pala sources raw materials in Italy, Ghana, and South Korea. They work with ISD Occhiali for frames, CARE4Basket for glasses cases, CMA Global for microfiber cleaning clothes and bags, Visottica Comotec for metal parts, and Sel Optical and Divel Italia for lenses.
They produce quality sunglasses at a fair price without harming the environment. These sustainable sunglasses fit comfortably on all face types. They are also long-lasting and don’t break or scratch easily.
Features: bio acetate, castor seed, ocean plastic & metals.
Eco Eyewear is a sustainable brand that produces sunglasses from various natural and recycled materials, including recycled metals, castor seeds, cotton, and wood pulp. The brand aims to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean by recycling discarded fishing nets, ropes, and trawls into sustainable sunglasses.
Eco is FSC certified and has won several awards; the Gold Award 2020, German Design Award Special 2021, and Design Award 2022. Eco groups their sunglasses according to the different materials used to create them, providing an easy way to choose from various sustainable sunglasses based on your preference.
Eco Eyewear's mission is to make you feel good and comfortable in your skin while protecting the environment. They work with an NGO called Trees for the Future to educate farmers about agroforestry and permaculture. So far, they have planted over 19,000 trees.
Features: plant-based, polarized lenses, microfiber cleaning cloth.
BioSunnies sunglasses are plant-based products manufactured using wheat straws for their frames. Using wheat straws is innovative and sustainable because it prevents air pollution, whereby they burn unused stalks because they are considered waste.
However, BioSunnies use these wheat straws to make durable sunglasses durable with frames that rarely break. And are lightweight and very comfortable to wear.
The sunglasses fit all face structures and are affordable for their quality.
Features: sustainable packaging, polarized lens, wood, acetate, bamboo.
Solo Eyewear is an eco-friendly sunglasses brand that uses repurposed wood, bamboo, and bio-acetate to create sustainable sunglasses. Your order comes sustainably packaged in a wood box complete with a microfiber pouch. Furthermore, they are a durable brand. People often get a new pair after years of constant usage.
The tint applied to the lenses protects your eyes perfectly from the sun’s glare.
Solo Eyewear was born with the vision that one person can change the world. With each purchase, they help one person with vision problems. They have restored the eyesight of over 13,000 people across Africa, South and North America, and Asia.
Features: recycled plastic frames, metal frames, polarized lenses, and options canceling blue light for snow sport
Sunski sunglasses are eco-friendly sunglasses made from recycled materials sourced from the ocean. Sunski has an extensive collection of sustainable sunglasses made from recycled plastic and metal and, as the name implies, a connection specifically for outdoor snow sports.
Their philosophy is to bask in the sun, respect people and the planet, and defend nature. The basis of their sustainability practice is recycling plastic and polymer materials. Also, Sunski contributes 1% of its earnings to charitable organizations.
Features: bamboo glasses case, wooden frames, polarized lenses.
Bill created Bambies Sunglasses to celebrate and give back to nature. Bambies is an FSC-certified wood brand with a comprehensive collection of wooden sunglasses. Their wooden frames are from different types of woods like walnut, maple, and rosewood.
Bambies are sure of the quality of their eco-friendly glasses, offering a break-free guarantee. They also promote sustainability by using bamboo for the sunglasses case.
Features: wood, stainless steel, plastic-free packaging.
Englebert makes eco-friendly and handcrafted eyewear made from natural materials, including different types of wood and stainless steel. They have a wide and stylish wood collection that sits on your face without sliding down whenever you're sweaty.
Engleberts also has plastic-free packaging. Your order will contain a bamboo case, a microfiber pouch, and a cleaning cloth. Their durable, sustainable frames prevent breakage. Englebert offers some of the best eco-friendly eyewear, and you should totally check it out.
Features: stainless steel, acetate, wood, polarized lenses.
Kraywoods are an FSC-certified wood company with dozens of wooden sunglass designs combined with stainless steel frames.
Kraywoods is an eco-friendly brand that provides functional products while being stylish. They also ship your orders promptly, so you don’t have to wait unnecessarily for your order to arrive.
Features: recycled plastic & fishing nets, mineral glass lenses, plastic-free packaging.
Waterhaul is a brand that aims at reducing plastic pollution by recycling discarded virgin-plastic materials like fishing nets. They create sustainable eyewear by repurposing discarded fishing nets. Their sunglasses also use glass lenses instead of virgin plastic. They are stylish and fit snuggly on the nose bridge of all facial structures.
Another perk Waterhaul offers is prescription sunglasses. They have about nine types of prescription sunglasses you can choose from. You just have to give them your prescription lens values.
Waterhaul also packs your sustainable sunnies in an eco-friendly way by avoiding all forms of plastic packaging. You can buy waterhaul sunglasses without worries because they have a prompt customer service record with their customers.
As someone trying to live a sustainable lifestyle, beginner or not, we strive toward reducing the amount of plastic and other petroleum-based materials we use. We might not notice it, but almost every item we use is made from virgin plastic. Sustainable brands produce eco-friendly sunglasses that are stylish and functional.
They also allow us to save the planet from plastic pollution. Take your pick as you go through our guide on the best sustainable sunglasses brands.
Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.
Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.