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Sunglasses Guide

Eco-Friendly Sunglasses

 Today, there is a lot of greenwashing that occurs across products in order to come across as an eco-friendly and sustainable choice. Much of this is just brands talking the talk, but Sunski likes to walk the walk. To truly understand Sunski as a business it’s important to understand what eco-friendly sunglasses are.

What are eco-friendly sunglasses?

At Sunski, we have been concerned about making our sunglasses in an eco-friendly way for more than 10 years now.

Eco-friendly sunglasses are shades that are produced in a way that minimizes waste and environmental damage, often through the use of recycled or sustainably sourced materials. When Sunski came onto the sunglasses’ scene in 2012, there were no eco-friendly options on the market that were high quality and looked just as good as other sunglasses. So, we made our own.

eco-friendly sunglasses - treeline

Check out our Alpine Collection for some seriously cool, adventure ready eco-friendly sunglasses! 

treeline sunglasses

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What are eco-friendly sunglasses made of?

Eco-friendly sunglasses can be made from recycled plastic, bio-based resins like acetate, biodegradable material, and even sustainably harvested wood sources like bamboo. Our frames are made of recycled plastic—officially called post-industrial scrap plastic. We intercept scrap plastic before it ends up in US landfills, and then blend it into our new frames. Our unique recycled frame material refuses to sacrifice on flexibility, comfort, or durability.

eco-friendly sunglasses- ventana

ventana product image

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Sadly, only around 9% of plastic is recycled globally. While that number is pretty dismal, it means we’re all the more proud to be a part of the solution.

The only thing better than recycling plastic is avoiding it altogether, which is what we do with our packaging. When you order a pair of Sunskis, they’ll arrive in a plastic free box, padded with innovative origami folds instead of glue—and all recyclable.

Are eco sunglasses good quality?

You can get an idea of how confident we are in our quality by checking out our lifetime warranty. Or, just take my word for it: I used to break sunglasses almost monthly because I thought of my old pairs as disposable, which they were. Now, I’ve seen the light! Or maybe I haven’t “seen” it, since my Sunskis are blocking it…you get the point. I’ve had the same pair of eco-friendly Sunskis for 2 years. They’ve lasted through mountain bike rides, trail runs, and hikes galore, but if I DO scratch the lens, I can get a lens replacement. If I somehow break the frame, Sunski will try to repair it. And if the fashion scene changes, I’m good, too. Sunski’s sustainable superlight sunnies (say it 5x fast) are built to be timeless, not to chase short lived trends.

eco-friendly sunglasses - lifetime warranty

Oops! Looks like you stepped on your shades. Never fear, Sunski lifetime warranty is here!

Are non-eco-friendly sunglasses bad for the environment?

It can be hard to grasp how something as small as a pair of shades could do any environmental harm. Let’s take a step back and explore why sustainable sunglasses even need to exist.

The short answer is that some are worse than others. As a climate-aware Sunski fan, you probably know that producing and processing gas and oil releases greenhouse gasses, leading to climate change. What you might not know is that plastic is made of fossil fuels. Because of this, plastics overall account for 4-8% of yearly global oil consumption. We can all agree that producing plastic is not great. Unfortunately, most sunglasses are made of non-recycled plastic.

Besides the space they take up, plastic sunnies in landfills release methane and ethylene as they break down in the heat over a long period of time. That’s a big part of why landfills account for over 15% of total methane emissions.

We’re on a mission to make the best sunglasses for the earth.

Even if our frames weren’t made from recycled materials, Sunski would still be the eco-friendly choice. We give 1% of our profits for the planet, are certified climate neutral, and frequently partner with environmental nonprofits on activism campaigns. It's undeniably nice to know that the gear you buy is kind to Mother Nature.

eco-friendly sunglasses: hiking

Want to know more about activism at Sunski? Check out our latest environmental activism campaign with Earth Guardians.