Sustainable specs: 5 great eco-friendly glasses frames
Our style maven offers up advice on glasses to meet every fashion need.
Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 05:08 PM
Now that it's autumn, and our fancies turn to school, education and bookishness in general, it's time to put on our thinking caps (and nerdy glasses) and get serious. I need glasses, and wear them most days, but I often feel my style choices are limited by one set of frames (none of them go with the variety of outfits I like to wear — boho some days, yoga-sporty others). So a few weeks ago I had a radical idea — what if I put together a glasses wardrobe? A few different frames so that I could forego contact lenses unless I was working out, and just wear my specs? I keep my glasses for years, and with a rotating set of, say, three, they would last three times as long, plus I would look for eco-friendly versions (the Ecologist outlines what's so toxic about regular glasses' manufacturing here).
Here are some of my pics for what I think could be the start of my wardrobe of frames (and my first start):
My Amy Sacks frames are plastic on the front, but renewable bamboo on the arms, not only making them a bit lighter overall, but the feeling of wood sitting on my ears and sliding back and forth on my head as I take them off and put them on is softer, and warmer. Amy Sacks carries a number of bamboo-based frames (some are all bamboo, others are bamboo/plastic combos).
Warby Parker's glasses frames come in shapes that are either super hip, or totally classic. They are all very reasonably priced ($95 each with lenses, and just a bit more for the superthin lenses) and for every pair bought, a pair is given to a person in need. More than 85,000 pairs have been distributed thus far, and with more than 1 billion people in need, there's plenty more to give.
Herrlicht is a German company that handcrafts glasses frames from wood. Made from cherry, maple, walnut or oak, each classically styled frame is available in a number of woods or combination thereof. German-made in their own factory, fair wages are paid, and the frames are meant to last for years.
Leo DiCaprio is a fan of Earth Conscious Optics' frames, which are made from 95 percent recycled materials. For every pair sold, a tree is planted (with around 650,000+ saplings planted so far). You can find the frames on their site and at their NYC boutique, and also at Sunglass Hut and Moda.
LinkSkin's frames are made from recycled materials, without any soldering, screws or hinges. The materials used to make the frames can then be recycled again, which has earned the company green certifications from several European and Asian countries.