3 ethical eyewear and prescription eyewear brands for our stylish four-eyed friends

Four-eyed friends, rejoice! There are many options for ethical glasses for you, my visually impaired people. As someone who is disgusted with contact lenses but needs some sort of lens to see and function for a lifetime, over the past few years I have searched everywhere for the best frames available. The glasses feature a snap in the middle of your face, so you have to get it right. Here are my top tried and tested picks.

Wooden frames

I received more compliments on my Evidence Glasses wooden frames than any other pair of glasses I’ve ever worn. And I’ve been wearing glasses for over two decades.

When I contacted the brand, they told me the lumber came from sustainable forest farms located in the United States. Wherever a tree is felled, a new tree is planted in its place. The frames are made by one of three different manufacturers in China, and Proof says they visit each of those facilities at least once a year to discuss production and safety. In 2016, the company donated 12% of its annual profits to its Do Good program which supports various projects around the world.

Proof Eyewear Ethical eyewear 'Targhee Wood'
Goggles ‘Targhee Wood’ $ 180 USD

These types of frames can be a bit heavier and more uncomfortable than lightweight plastic frames, but I was never too bothered. My last pair lasted about a year before they fell apart, but Proof takes back all unwanted products in exchange for a 50% discount on your next pair. If the frames are still in good condition, they donate them, but they will also buy back the broken frames. Certainly, when I contacted them for the return of my pair, I discovered that I was going to have to bear the postage so I never bothered.

Proof Eyewear - Ethical eyewear and prescription eyewear 'Kanab Wood'
Protective Glasses ‘Kanab Wood’ $ 180 USD

3 ethical eyewear and prescription eyewear brands for our stylish four-eyed friends

Please note, Proof only provides the frames. Check with your optometrist before making a purchasing decision, as they may make a disapproving face and refuse to purchase the lenses to your new specifications. Speaking from experience. Wood is apparently more difficult to work with than plastic.

Related article: 11 eco-friendly sunglasses for sustainability-conscious fashionistas

Closed Loop Frames

Smart people at Dresden Optics have covered all the bases. All. Manufactured in Sydney, Australia, the majority of frames are made from a recyclable nylon using a zero waste closed loop system. Dresden has also created limited collections from beer keg lids, milk bottle caps, plastic waste collected on the beach, fishing nets and even Lego! The brand boasts of having so far prevented 436 kilograms of plastic from going to landfill.

Dresden Optics ethical glasses
Images provided by Dresden Optics.

Dresden Optical - Ethical glasses

Frames come uniquely in a variety of sizes and colors. This design reduces the cost of the lenses as it means Dresden can buy one size wholesale. It also allows you to interchange different colored legs or frames as you like by popping and changing the lenses. The hardest part is choosing and committing to a new color.

Dresden Optics Factory - Durable Closed Loop Eyewear

Dresden offers an unprecedented 10-year warranty on all glasses. How many of us have had a pair of glasses for so long? I certainly didn’t. One of my favorite things to do is take them off and show people how flexible plastic is. If by chance you decide that you no longer want your frames, the brand will take them back and recycle them into brand new glasses. Closure of this loop.

Dresden Optics Factory - Ethical eyewear

Dresden is also exceptionally affordable. Over the past few years my eyesight has deteriorated to the point where I have to get special Whiz Bang lenses. An optician tried to charge me $ 600 for the lenses alone. In Dresden, you can pick up a new pair of glasses with lenses for under $ 100. It almost sounds too good to be true!

Animal corpses frames

Deadstock refers to all kinds of things that were made a long time ago but lying around in unsold and unloved warehouses. Many brands use dead fabrics to create their clothes and the internet is littered with dead frames. This is a great option because you are using something that is already there instead of supporting a system that constantly asks you to buy new. They can also be really affordable.

Credit: zeroUV

You can find dead animal frames in several different places. Google and you are already drowned in a lot of different options. Etsy has a great variety, but there are a lot of online stores with so many offers. Personally, I like to try on frames and unwittingly torture sellers with my indecisiveness before committing to a new pair. I searched online to find an optician who stocked unused frames locally and bought my glasses that way.

Etsy's Ethical Eyewear Deadstock
Etsy’s dead animal stock glasses

Do you have any other tips on where to find the best, most ethical eyewear? Please let us know!

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