Best sustainable sunglasses to buy in 2022 | The Sun

WANT to minimise the environmental impact of your summer shopping? We've found you the best sustainable sunglasses that are eco-friendly and stylish to boot.

Shopping sustainably is becoming increasingly more important to consumers and no wonder; the rise of fast fashion and the ease of online purchasing has led to many of us questioning our habits and trying to be more conscious about what brands we support.

With sunglasses often being heavily trend-led, it's easy to buy, wear and discard – but what happens when said sunglasses end up in landfill?

Well, many sunnies are made from acrylic: a super-durable thermoplastic that can take years to start decomposing, before breaking down into harmful microplastics. Not ideal.

Luckily, these days there are plenty of brands offering biodegradable sunglasses – so no matter where they end up after use, you can be certain that they won't leak toxic chemicals into the environment.

Check out our pick of the best sustainable sunglasses below.


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1. Proof Eyewear Grove Wood

  • Grove Wood in Ebony Zebra / Polarized Lens, £107 from Proof Eyewear – buy here

Founded by a trio of brothers in 2010, Idaho-based brand, Proof, makes sunglasses handcrafted from sustainable materials including sustainably harvested wood, biodegradable cotton-based acetate, and recycled aluminium.

True to form, this pair are handmade from sustainably sourced wood, and hand-polished using a natural plant-based sealant.

They also come with a one-year manufacturing warranty, with the brand planting five trees for every frame sold (through the Eden Reforestation Project).

2. Proof Eyewear Ontario Wood

  • Ontario Wood in Rasta, £107 from Proof Eyewear – buy here

Another pair in from Proof, these shades have a classic look to them and are a great unisex style that anyone will feel good in.

Available in six colours, we've opted for the Rasta colourway – a design which looks simple and classic front-on, with a subtle colour stripe on the sides of the lenses for a splash of character.

For added flair, there's even a quote inscribed on the inside of the arms, which reads 'Don't Forget Your Roots'.

They're handcrafted from sustainably sourced wood, and again, have been hand-polished with a water-resistant natural sealant.

3. Christopher Cloos x Brady Clip-on Sunglasses

  • Christopher Cloos x Brady Clip-on Sunglasses, £83.87
  • 83.87 from Amazon – buy here

American football quarterback, Tom Brady, has collaborated with sunglasses brand Christopher Cloos to create a collection made from Italian M49 acetate.

Although the true sustainability of acetate is often debated (despite being plant-based, it's still made with harmful chemicals), M49 is essentially an improved version as it contains a greater percentage of plant-based ingredients (68%) as well as being recyclable and biodegradable. So however you look at it, it's miles better than plastic, obvs!

Designed to be worn with your Brady glasses, these clip-ons are perfect for adding vintage vibes to your frames and deliver complete UVA and UVB sun protection. Win-win.

4. Stella McCartney 100% Bio Acetate Cat-Eye Sunglasses

  • 100% Bio Acetate Cat-Eye Sunglasses, £240 from Stella McCartney – buy here

Shopping for designer sunglasses that are sustainably made? Stella McCartney has your back.

Just like the above Christopher Cloos x Brady sunglasses, the brand uses M49 acetate by manufacturer Mazzucchelli – which is 100% biodegradable and recyclable.

We love the cat-eye design of this pair, which will add a glam vibe to any look – not to mention stay timeless, no matter the trends of the day.

5. SunGod Classics

  • SunGod Classics, from £55 – buy here

SunGod has a long-term commitment to sustainability. The frames on the Classics are made from 100% recycled plastic, all of its packaging is recyclable and the sunglasses sleeves are made from recycled plastic bottles.

But aside from looking great and being practical for all types of outdoor activities, SunGods come with a lifetime guarantee on their frames; if you manage to break or damage them, SunGod will repair them for free rather than putting them into landfill.

6. Stella McCartney Geometric Sunglasses

  • Geometric Sunglasses in shiny ivory, £280 from Stella McCartney – buy here

Ok so they may not be the cheapest…but how delicious are these Stella McCartney shades?

Featuring a statement geometric design and shiny ivory finish with gold-tone detailing, these are ultra-luxe and will add an expensive finish to any outfit.

Again, they're made from bio acetate, so they'll biodegrade quickly (though we doubt you'd ever want to throw them away, right?)

7. Hawkers Cindy Pink Acetate Sunglasses

  • Cindy Pink Acetate Sunglasses, £54.99 from Hawkers – buy here

Thought sustainable sunglasses would be limited, style-wise? Think again, because these pink beauties from Hawkers' eco line are bang on trend.

Featuring a slim cat eye frame, they're made from eco, biodegradable acetate, while the lenses are a new copolyester material that claims to respect the environment and offer more sustainability.

Buy these for a rose-tinted outlook, whatever the weather.

8. Hawkers One Eco Polarized Green

  • One Eco Polarized Green, £49.99 from Hawkers – buy here

Also in from Hawkers' range of eco sunnies – fans will be pleased to know that the brand's best-selling Hawkers ONE design is now available in a new and improved environmentally-friendly version.

With a dark green frame made from bamboo-based bio-materials and recycled plastics, this unisex pair is a classic that will suit all face shapes.

And just like the frames, the polarized dark lenses are made from sustainable, recycled and recyclable materials.

9. FacePlant Ice Teal Crash Override Sustainable Sunglasses

  • Ice Teal Crash Override Sustainable Sunglasses, £69.69 from FacePlant – buy here

FacePlant says it's committed to making 'the world's most sustainable sunglasses' – and it certainly seems to be backing up that promise, with every pair of sunglasses being made from five recycled plastic bottles.

The frames are also fully recyclable – and you can even send them back to the brand for them to reuse again.

We're loving the bold look of this pair, which will suit anyone looking for a bright and colourful design. Beach party, anyone?

10. FacePlant Blackout Wasted Weekend Sustainable Sunglasses

  • Blackout Wasted Weekend Sustainable Sunglasses, £69.99 from FacePlant – buy here

Looking for something a little less 'out there' from FacePlant? These all-black sunnies are perfect for going incognito – with extra face coverage designed with hangovers, in mind apparently.

Like every pair of FacePlant sunnies, they've been made from five recycled plastic bottles, with lenses that are biodegradable and made from plant-based materials.

Plus, if you ever scratch the lenses, you can buy a replacement pair from the brand and plant the old ones in the ground to biodegrade – they'll leave no trace within 60 months.

11. Zeal Optics CALISTOGA Recycled Plastics + Plant-Based Cat-Eye Polarized Sunglasses

  • CALISTOGA Recycled Plastics + Plant-Based Cat-Eye Polarized Sunglasses, £139 from Zeal Optics – buy here

Sunglasses brand Zeal Optics uses plant-based materials in all of its sunglass frames and lenses, so it's a great choice for shades that have been made with sustainability in mind.

This eco pair is available in four colourways including a dusky rose pink and this olive hue, which features a copper lens that 'enhances contrast and depth perception'.

And good news if you wear glasses because the unisex design is available in prescription lenses too: result.

12. Zeal Optics PENNY LANE Plant-Based Oversized Polarized Sunglasses

  • PENNY LANE Plant-Based Oversized Polarized Sunglasses, £125 from Zeal Optics – buy here

Looking for sustainable sunglasses with lashings of glamour? These ones by Zeal Optics are made from plant-based materials and are perfect for a retro 60s vibe.

Oversized and with a tortoiseshell frame, the lenses are made using a plant-based bonding agent, while the frames – just like all Zeal shades – are made from plant-based Z-Resin.

They also come with a two-year warranty so they're worthy of the investment.

13. Ganni Biodegradable Acetate Oversized Sunglasses

  • Biodegradable Acetate Oversized Sunglasses, £195 from Ganni – buy here

Shopping designer specs? Danish label GANNI has used plant-based, biodegradable acetate for its new eyewear collection.

Again, it's a material not without its debate in terms of complete sustainability – but as it's extracted from cotton and wood-pulp cellulose, it's definitely a preferable alternative to plastic.

Handmade in Italy, this pair looks ultra-glam with an oversized square silhouette and tortoiseshell frames.


How much are the best sustainable sunglasses?

Unsurprisingly, sustainable practices often result in products being more expensive – so you can expect to pay a little more than standard shades that have been made quickly and cheaply.

In our search, we found that the best sustainable sunglasses started from around £50, while the most expensive designs came in at just under £200.

Where to buy the best sustainable sunglasses?

Brands are catching up to the demand for sustainable practices, so there's plenty of choice these days.

We were impressed by the ranges available from Proof Eyewear, FacePlant and Zeal Optics.

What to look for in the best sustainable sunglasses?

First up, look out for plant-based materials, recycled/recyclable designs and biodegradable acetates which offer a more eco-friendly alternative to plastic.

It's also worth doing some digging into the brand and their practices to get a feel for their ethos: are they honest and transparent with their commitment to sustainability, or is there an element of green-washing? Do they offer additional services like recycling schemes which resuse your old sunglasses? Or repairs to extend the shelf-life of your purchase?

As a consumer, you have the power to support genuinely conscious businesses after all, so make sure you're confident that everything adds up.

Alongside this, as with any sunglasses, it's worth making sure that the lenses offer adequate UV protection. They should therefore have a CE, UV 400 or British Standard Mark.

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