3 Best Sustainable Sunglasses Brands: Ditch Shady Shades!

Melissa Wijngaarden

(last updated at )

3 Best Sustainable Sunglasses Brands: Ditch Shady Shades!

So, most of your clothes are already made ethically (high five!) but maybe what’s missing from your eco-conscious summer outfits is a pair of sustainable sunglasses?

Gotcha. Unfortunately, due to their very nature, it’s trickier for sunglasses to be eco-friendly. 

Still, we’ll show you exactly what can make them kinder towards the planet and share some of the very best sustainable sunglasses brands.

So, let’s find the perfect pair of shades for your style, ethos, and eyesight! The kind of sunglasses you’ll want to wear for much longer than one summer. 

Shedding light on dodgy fast fashion sunglasses

Before looking at the best sustainable sunglasses brands, why should you avoid fast fashion options?

A £2 pair of sunglasses might sound good at first but it hides a BIG cost:

  • Polluting materials – Traditional sunglasses involve oil-based plastic
  • Waste – Fast fashion sunglasses are NOT made to last. Because they’re mostly made of plastic, they can’t usually be recycled either. So, they just end up in landfills, where they can stick around for hundreds of years
  • Dodgy production – Fast fashion brands tend to rely on sweatshops with underpaid and exploited garment workers (sometimes including children) kept in modern slavery conditions
  • Dangerous for your eyes – You risk permanent damage to your eyesight when wearing sunglasses that don’t offer proper protection against harmful UV rays! And let’s be realistic: can you really expect a plasticky £5 pair of sunglasses to guarantee that?

Consumer wearing sustainable sunglasses and a bikini

Can sunglasses be sustainable?

As teased before, it’s tricky to make sustainable sunglasses because they still need a certain type of lenses. These tend to be made of polycarbonate or polarised plastic resin, which can’t usually be recycled.

However, the best sustainable sunglasses brands have found different ways of making their frames more eco-friendly. For example, they might choose:

  • Recycled plastic, reducing waste and their overall environmental footprint 
  • Bio-acetate, which comes from renewable resources like cotton linter and wood pulp

You can also consider second-hand sunglasses (as long as they offer adequate UV protection).

Finally, the best way to make your garments and accessories more eco-friendly is to wear them multiple times. So, if choosing a new pair of sustainable sunglasses, think beyond this summer!

3 best sustainable sunglasses brands for ethical and stylish shades

These eco sunglasses were created with both your eyesight and the planet in mind.

While some models are marketed towards women, most of them are actually unisex.

1. Parafina – Organic and recycled sunglasses

Sustainable sunglasses by parafina

This brand specialises in eco sunglasses and eyewear.

Their frames involve both recycled materials (PET and HDPE plastic, rubber from tyres, and metal) or innovative organic alternatives like bamboo and even coffee grounds.

Parafina offers a small but intriguing range of versatile sustainable sunglasses and quirky models that make a bold statement.

2. Ecoer Fashion – Affordable sustainable sunglasses

Range of the best sustainable sunglasses by ecoer fashion

This fashion brand has a good range of sustainable sunglasses too, mostly made from recycled plastic and nylon—including from fishing nets!

Ecoer Fashion is part of the 1% for the Planet club. So, they donate a percentage of their revenue to environmental causes.  

Their factories are also audited regularly to make sure they meet the right standards when it comes to labour conditions.

As for style, their sustainable sunglasses include lots of modern takes on classic or vintage designs, like cat-eye and aviator sunglasses. This makes them an iconic and timeless choice!

3. Pala – Eco sunglasses to make a big difference

A pair of eco sunglasses on a beach

This sustainable sunglasses brand chooses bio-acetate and recycled black acetate for their frames. This allows them to produce 54% less CO2 than if they were to stick to traditional plastic ones!

They also rely on small-batch productions to minimise waste. 

On top of that, they partner with One Tribe to offset their carbon footprint and with Vision Action to provide eye care in Ghana, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Zambia.

Pala has a small but versatile range of sustainable sunglasses in various colours.

Find more sustainable sunglasses on Project Cece

We brought hundreds of fair trade brands in one place and added filters to narrow down your choices.

Of course, that includes plenty of sustainable sunglasses! 

We’re always adding new partners, too. So, find more sustainable sunglasses (including lots of unisex options) in our womens and mens sections.

Time to say goodbye to fast fashion’s shady shades and hello to sustainable sunglasses made ethically and to lastfor much longer than one summer.

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Project Cece is a platform that collects ethical fashion from vetted brands and shops in one place. Browse ethical fashion for women and men and find items that fit your style, budget and values!

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