Sunglasses: Brands that help the planet and people in need

Day 178 – I’m sure many of us have lost track of the number of sunglasses we have gone through over the years. Whether, they were misplaced or broken, we have had to purchase numerous pairs. I can honestly say that I never gave much thought to it, but all those pairs add up to a lot of waste, since many sunglasses are not recyclable.

Thankfully, there are many U.S. companies offering reasonably priced sustainable options.

Proof Eyewear

  1. Based in Boise, Idaho
  2. Starting at $65
  3. $10 of each purchase goes to the Do Good Program
  4. They use a variety of biodegradable materials, like recycled skateboards decks, recycled aluminum, FSC-certified sustainably-sourced wood (including bamboo, lacewood, ebony, and mahogany), and biodegradable cotton-based acetate for their ECO line (short for Environmentally Conscious Optics).
  5. They offer a recycle program.

SOLO Eyewear

  1. Their sunglasses are created using manufacturers from other countries, who have undergone and passed a comprehensive audit conducted by an American based auditing company. The audit reviews the manufacturer’s worker protection and health management, maintenance issue management, fire and emergency management and chemical management.
  2. Starting at $89
  3. 10% of profits is donated to restore vision. SOLO Eyewear has restored vision for 13,000+ people in need through the funding of eye exams, eyeglasses and cataract surgeries.
  4. Each pair of SOLOs is constructed using repurposed bamboo or recycled plastic which reduces their carbon footprint and prevents hundreds of pounds of virgin materials from being produced each year.
  5. They have a 30 day Happiness Guarantee.


  1. Based in Flint, Michigan
  2. Starting at $99
  3. 1% of net profits are being donated to the Community Fund of Greater Flint. Donations will be distributed to two funds that address children’s health and education in Flint: Flint Promise & Child Health and Development Fund.
  4. Genusee frames are made from 100% post-consumer recycled water bottles (rPET). At the height of the water crisis, the city of Flint was using more than 20 million water bottles a day to meet their daily needs.
  5. Eyewear is covered under manufacturer’s warranty for 180-days.


  1. Based in San Francisco, California
  2. Starting at $48
  3. Sunski is a member of 1% for the Planet.
  4. They invented a way to turn scrap plastic into recycled frames. Instead of going to a landfill, their SuperLight recycled resin gets a new life of your adventures. Their packaging is plastic free.
  5. They offer a lifetime warranty to fix your shades as long as you own them.


  1. Based in New York City, New York
  2. Starting at $75
  3. Eco works with Trees for the Future to plant a tree for every frame purchased. With your help, they have planted over 2.5 million so far.
  4. They use 95% recycled metal, biobased castor seed oil, and recycled ocean plastic for their designs. Their packaging is plastic free.
  5. They offer free shipping and free returns.

Norton Point

  1. Based in Los Angeles, California
  2. Starting at $89
  3. They pledge to remove one pound of plastic from the ocean for every pair of sunglasses they sell.
  4. Their eyewear is made from recovered high-density-polyethylene (HDPE) ocean plastics.

Swell Vision

  1. Based in Hendersonville, North Carolina
  2. Starting at $35
  3. With every pair of sunglasses you buy from Swell Vision, the company pays for 2 weeks of tuition for a local student to attend the Green School. A sponsor of the local scholarship program since 2014, Swell Vision’s support today enables 40 Balinese children to attend the Green School full time. Through a holistic, natural education based on sustainability, this greenest school on earth on Bali has been helping students develop the skills necessary to solve our planet’s most urgent problems since 2008.
  4. All of their sunglasses are handcrafted, and their frames are made from sustainably sourced bamboo and equipped with polarized lenses. Some of their models are made with both bamboo and plant-based acetate.

Zeal Optics

  1. Based in Boulder, Colorado
  2. Starting at $99
  3. They are members of 1% for the Planet, supporting organizations like National Forest Foundation, Protect our Winters and dZi Foundation.
  4. Made with plant-based materials, it is engineered to be as sustainable as it is technical. Their plant-based material allows for a high-purity lens for crisper, clearer vision all while reducing environmental impact.
  5. Their “Community Champions” program is a way to say ‘Thank You’ to verified first responders, nurses, medical providers, hospital employees, government employees, teachers and students. This program gives the people that serve access to exclusive 40% off discounts.

Blue Planet Eyewear

  1. Based in California
  2. Starting at $50
  3. For every pair sold, they donate a pair of corrective glasses to a person in need via a charity organization that they partner with. They call this practice our Visualize Change Program. They have also partnered with Trees for the Future and will plant one tree for every pair of glasses sold. They have plastic free packaging.
  4. By re-using the excess materials to create new eyewear, it creates a remarkably more durable, lightweight and comfortable frame. They have also incorporated other natural materials such as bamboo, Walnut, Beechwood and Zebra Wood. They have saved 1000’s of lbs of excess materials from going into our landfills and oceans.
  5. They offer free returns and exchanges.

Shady Rays

  1. Located in Louisville, Kentucky
  2. Starting at $48
  3. In partnership with Feeding America, they donate 10 meals to fight hunger in America with every order. They have provided over 10 million meals and continue to donate thousands of meals every day through Feeding America sponsored food banks across the country.
  4. Even though Shady Rays does not use sustainable materials in the production of their sunglasses, they do offer a lifetime warranty.

To celebrate National Sunglasses Day*, you should treat yourself to a new pair of sustainable sunglasses. Your eyes and the planet will thank you!

*Many companies listed in this post are offering sales in honor of National Sunglasses Day.

Tomorrow, enjoying a summer free of PVC.

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