I’m So Bright, I’ve Gotta Wear Shades

Yesterday, I was on one of my frequent treks through Whole Foods (which have only gotten more frequent since I moved and it was suddenly on my route to work), when I stopped in my tracks, thanks to a sunglasses display.

Eco-friendly sunglasses?! Silly me. Why hadn’t I thought of that?

I had to stop and see if they were stylish, and of course they were and also had to be 20 percent off. I immediately found a great pair I was pretty sure I had to have — depending on what the cashier told me the price was.

The sunglasses I picked up were by icueyewear. For some reason, I had no idea what made them green, but they looked too great to pass up. The sticker also says the glasses give “maximum UV protection.”

When I got to the check out, I was pretty excited that they were only about $15 — totally doable.

What I found after doing a little reading is that, just like most other companies, a lot of eyewear companies are expanding their environmentally-friendly endeavors.

My Super Sweet ICU shades

The website for icueyewear is pretty basic, as is the company info offered there, but it even offers reading glasses. Some pairs listed say they are “made from reclaimed materials” and there were dozens offered at Whole Foods. I have an e-mail in to customer service for more details. I’m curious to know how much of them are made from those reclaimed materials. Like anything else made from recycled materials, I can only guess that how much of it is used varies. Regardless, they are are the best price compared to the others I found that are a little higher end.

Here are some other companies that offer eco-friendly glasses of various kinds (and prices, for that matter):

The Sunglasses Hut: eco line. Frames use recycled metal and plastic, and a tree will be planted for each pair purchased. Prices are about $120.

Wonderful iWood

iWood: Wood anyone? Handcrafted in the U.S. and lightweight. Frames are made from “reclaimed exotic wood, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and harvested by sustainable methods.” Lenses give 100 percent UVA/UVB protection. Pretty pricey, but probably worth it if $370 sunglasses are in your budget.

KAYU: Don’t forget bamboo! 100 percent UV protection. About $200.

KAYU Bamboo!

Modo Retail: Another eco line made from recycled materials with a tree planted by the company for each frame sold. Prices are also about $129.

Oakley: Skateboarder Bob Burnquist teamed with Oakley for his Signature Series Recycled GASCAN Sunglasses. The frame is made from excess materials that come from the manufacture of other eyewear and uses bamboo for the accents and storage bag. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the Bob Burnquist Gascan go to the Action Sports Environmental Coalition (ASEC), an organization co-founded by Burnquist in 2001. $100 at Oakley.


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