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Shades of green: 8 ethical sunglasses brands you need to know about

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Georgina Wilson-Powell

14 June 2017

It's not easy being green. Luckily every purchase you make now has the power to change the world. Even just a little bit. Looking for new sunglasses this summer? Choose an eco-friendly sunnies brand that gives back, uses recycled materials or sustainable wood. It's amazing what inventive folks can make a pair of shades out of...and you'll end up with something truly special rather than a duty free designer dud.

Medicine Werx

Ever stopped to think why our sunglasses are made from plastic? They don’t need to be. Medicine Werx makes beautiful crafted sunnies from sustainable wood. No pairs are the same as each is hand finished and comes with polarised lenses that are also UV resistant. Medicine Werx also plants 10 trees for every purchase through Trees for the Future and 1% of all revenue from these guys goes into 1% For The Planet.

Medicine Werx ethical sunglasses are made from sustainable wood

Buy a pair and you pay for 10 trees to be planted

Pala

Turning rubbish into really great eyewear, Pala employ traditional weavers in Ghana to turn plastic bags and waste into the cute bags its sunglasses arrive in. Each pair bought gives money to eye care projects in impoverished communities to give out glasses to people who need them. One for one. Style wise, Pala covers all bases from John Lennon circles to aviators and sultry cat eye frames.

Pala's eco-friendly sunglasses help restore vision to others

You get shade, another person gets their sight back

Johnny Fly Co

Superfly! Family run company from North Carolina, Johnny Fly Co are made with acetate (made from recycled cotton) frames and ethically grown wood to make the all-important arms. There are over 20 different retro styles to choose from, mix and match the lens colour and different woods and the company will do a repair job on any pair for a flat (very small) fee.

Johnny Fly Co are a family business that takes ethical sunglasses with wood

Mix and match over 20 designs and lenses at Johnny Fly Co

Peep

Proving that not every purchase has to be new, no matter how eco it is, Peep Eyewear specialise in repurposing vintage eye frames with new optical grade 100% UVA-UVB lenses. Its online shop has styles from the 40’s to 80’s, so think gorgeous OTT shapes from the 60’s, superior sunnies from designers like Dior and oversized 70s numbers to really add something special to your summer style.

Peep Eyewear recondition vintage sunnies for modern use

Pick up vintage frames that no one else has

Solo

Proving that even the simplest purchase can help change the world, Solo uses its sunnies to help restore eyesight to as many people as possible. Choose between a sustainable bamboo and a recycled plastic collection, with different styles named after the different countries that the brand has helped in. Their giving back programme has restored sight to over 13,000 people through glasses and cataracts operations

Solo's eco-friendly glasses are made from bamboo and recycled plastic

Choose between recycled plastic and sustainable bamboo at Solo

Kynd

There are so many reasons we love bamboo here at pebble, is there nothing this plant can’t be turned into? Kynd make sustainably grown bamboo sunnies. Each pair is hand-crafted by people paid a proper living wage and comes with REVO polarised UV400 lenses. And proof that recycling pays off, the brand will give you 50% off a new pair if you send back your old pair, whether you broke them or just got bored.

Kynd Sunglasses ethical sunglasses are made by people who are paid properly

Get 50% off your next pair at Kynd when you send back your old glasses

Proof

Started by brothers who have their roots in the sawmill industry,Proof uses FSC-certified wood, cotton-based acetate, and repurposed skateboard decks to make its awesome sunnies, depending on which collection you plump for. The real issue here is choosing just one pair, we love the colourful Skate ones and polarised 100 UVA-UVB lenses come as standard. Proof give back to different eye health related projects in various countries, they’ve worked in five countries so far.

Proof Sunglasses recycle old skateboard decks for frames

Wear old skateboard decks on your face

Topheads

Founded only yards from Bondi Beach, Topheads use wood, bamboo, bioplastic and recycled skateboard decks to make their sustainable Sydney style sunnies that come in a range of styles from the 60’s cat eye to aviators and wayfarers. Everything is handcrafted and no two pairs are the same.

Topheads recycled and upcycle materials to make their ethical sunglasses

Get a dose of Sydney style with these sustainable beauties