You may have noticed that the eyewear game is making a conscious shift towards sustainability, with the market for eco friendly glasses growing considerably over the last few years. We’re seeing more and more glasses frames being made from a variety of materials including wood, bamboo, recycled plastics and even coffee grounds and recycled fishing nets, which is very exciting for us as an optical store and also for our customers.
In a world where we are encouraged to be kinder to the planet and cut our plastic use, sustainable eyewear fashion definitely has a place. A large number of frames are made from a combination of metal and non-biodegradable plastic, and due to the nature of the materials are hard to recycle. Which means more often than not they just end up as landfill.
With this shift in the eyewear market for manufacturing frames from recycled and naturally sustainable materials, we are very keen to embrace this trend and to date three sustainable eyewear brands take pride of place in our luxury eyewear collections.
Eyewear from recycled vinyl records
As huge music lovers, we love the idea of glasses and sunglasses made from old vinyl records. And that’s exactly what Vinylize eyewear has done. This company from Budapest in Hungary take upcycled vinyl records and turn them into just the most beautiful pieces of high end eyewear. Their earliest models were developed from communist vinyl found in flea markets in the capital city.
It’s the use of old records that has given Vinylize such a distinctive and memorable look in a market saturated by similar looking glasses frames. They use hypoallergenic acetate as the base for every frame. Environmental awareness is at the heart of every pair of Vinylize glasses and sunglasses, with each frame handcrafted by skilled craftsmen in Budapest over the course of six weeks.
Here at Respectacle Company we stock pieces from their classic collection. Frames are black, bold and chunky in design. We recently added two new frames from their Hitsville U.S.A. collection; The Chairman and the Esther, which celebrate the legendary Mr Motown himself, Berry Gordy and the women of Motown respectively.
Bespoke handcrafted wooden eyewear
We were on the lookout for a wooden eyewear brand to add to our collections for quite some time. We first came across FEB31st at various trade shows we visited. Industry colleagues were raving about the brand so we simply had to see what all the fuss was about for ourselves.
While glasses frames made from wood isn’t anything new, what makes FEB31st eyewear stand head and shoulders above other wooden glasses brands (in our opinion) is their proven track record in producing high quality wooden products – well before they launched themselves upon the eyewear market. Prior to designing wooden glasses frames, the company specialised in producing wooden handles for shaving brushes and making baseball bats for the American market. So we knew they had to be something special.
FEB31st frames are constructed from certified FSC ecologically harvested bolivar and kauri wood. The company believes in keeping its environmental impact to a minimum, making their eyewear to order at their factory in Italy so there are no wasted materials.
The entire FEB31st spectacle frame is carved from sustainable wood and due to the gorgeous variety of colours available (there’s 43 to choose from!) each frame is very unique and personal. Colours are sandwiched together in the customer’s chosen thirteen-layer combination. Meaning you get to build your own personal bespoke glasses frame which is super strong yet super lightweight. Best of all, the frames weigh just 21g and are very comfortable to wear.
We’re very proud to showcase this luxury eyewear brand at Respectacle Company. In our opinion, FEB31st products really do stand head and shoulders above other wooden eyewear brands. Which is exactly why we stock them.
Glasses frames made from old fishing nets
We’re always keeping an eye out for emerging new eco-friendly eyewear brands that we think would sit well amongst our established collections. This year at the 100% Optical trade fair in London, a British company called Coral Eyewear caught our eye. Designed in the UK and manufactured in Italy, Coral Eyewear has been created using regenerated nylon from abandoned fishing nets and other plastic waste rescued from the oceans.
Did you know that around 640,000 tonnes of ghost fishing nets are dumped in the ocean every year? We certainly didn’t. Not only are they a hazard for the many beautiful marine life like dolphins, seals and turtles, but over time the nets break down into tiny fragments, causing further damage to the creatures that call the sea home.
We love the idea of removing harmful plastics from the world’s oceans and turning them into glasses and sunglasses. And we couldn’t be more excited to introduce Coral Eyewear to our customers over the coming months. We’re hoping to have the frames in stock around April time. So keep an eye on our social media channels for more information about this fabulous new British brand.
If you’re looking for an eyewear brand that is committed to using sustainable materials and minimising waste, come and take a closer look at our eco conscious brands like FEB31st, Vinylize and Coral Eyewear. You’ll find our store in Manor Walk, Market Harborough. Alternatively, feel free to give us a call on 01858 433 577 if you would like to have a chat about our eco-friendly eyewear collections.