Many people really dig the wooden sunglasses style that has cropped up recently due to the huge push toward organic sunglasses. There are all kinds, from bamboo to zebra wood. All sorts of styles and materials make for some amazing and attractive products. Plus, it has the added bonus of being eco-friendly. But are they really eco-friendly?
Compared to the plastic throwaway frames, wood shades can definitely come across the eco-friendlier choice. And they are…compared to plastic. However, making frames from wood can cause its own problems. Yes, they are biodegradable and won’t rot in a landfill when you get rid of them, but one thing you, as a green and savvy shopper, need to be on the lookout for is: is the resource sustainable? Some woods, like Japanese Oak, Zebrawood, and many types of Rosewood and Ebony are considered critically endangered or vulnerable. These ratings according to The Wood Database are defined as follows: Critically Endangered- reportedly facing extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future. Endangered- Not critically endangered, but still facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future. Vulnerable- Not endangered, but still facing a high risk of extinction in the mid-term future. That means that those resources are not sustainable. So you should always check before purchasing.
In an effort to offset this, some suppliers claim that their resources are sustainable, because they are willing to plant a certain number of trees for every pair of sunglasses they sell. This is all well and good, but again presents its share of issues. What trees were cut down vs what trees are being planted? What are the soil conditions and the environment like? Will the saplings be protected until they can grow into mature trees? Will demand outstrip supply? Is the habitat of the trees being harvested being irrevocably damaged? Is the wood being used endangered? Will there be import restrictions for my business if I buy a certain type of wooden sunglasses to wholesale? Zitan wood is banned from being imported to China. That is a lot of issues to take on and questions to answer for a good looking pair of sunglasses.
All that aside, there are some good wood-style sunglasses made from sustainable products. Bamboo wood is one of them. That is because bamboo is not really a wood, but actually one of the fastest growing grasses on the planet. Bamboo sunglasses are always a nice choice. However there are also sunglass frames made from reclaimed wood as well that are sustainable and eco-friendly. Here are a few choices below:
WearPanda makes their frames out of bamboo. They are sealed with beeswax, are totally eco-friendly, and sustainable. They come in a variety of colors and styles. And all come with the Panda Promise.
Hammockable utilizes unused wood from skateboards to make beautiful and eco-friendly sunglasses.
Proof Eyewear is another reclaimed wood sunglasses maker. Not only do they reclaim wood, but also aluminum and bio-plastics as well.
Woodzee also utilizes reclaimed wood in oak and maple.
These are just a small snippet of the choices available for your next pair of sunglasses. Just remember when shopping for Earth-friendly sunglasses, sustainability counts too. Stay green.