8 Sustainable Summer Shades

Eight stylish (and sustainably designed) summer sunglasses that are anything but shady.

When summer rolls around, everyone always talks about the importance of wearing sunscreen. Protecting your eyes from the sun with a good pair of sunglasses is just as important. Make sure that the lenses have adequate protection against all those dangerous rays (some of those cheaper ones do not). Here are eight sustainable summer shades that will suit any style preference and are anything but shady.

1. Eco by Summer Rayne Oakes 301
These sunglasses, from Summer Rayne Oakes’ “eco” capsule collection for MODO, have a slight cat-eye shape, which is totally on trend for summer. They’re made from recycled plastic and come in four different color variations.
$175, MODO

2. Stella McCartney 50s Style Vintage Frame Sunglasses
For S/S 2012, Stella McCartney launched a new eco-friendly collection of sunglasses. Extensive research was conducted to increase the use of raw materials stemming from natural origins. These 50s Style Vintage Frame sunglasses are sturdy yet delicate and are built with rounded edges for a comfortable fit. The slight cat-eye shape is accented by complimentary colors that highlight the top of the frame and give this classic style a cool, modern update that is just right for summer.
$225, Stella McCartney

3. Stella McCartney Round Frame Gradient Sunglasses
Also from Stella McCartney’s new eco-friendly collection these glasses have a round oversized shape with a steel frame and an ultra-feminine profile with thin temples featuring a step design. This is a good choice for those of you who prefer a more delicate shape, something that hasn’t always been easy to find in the world of sustainable sunglasses.
$250, Stella McCartney

4. Panda Sunglasses Monroe Black
This style from Panda Sunglasses features an iconic design, but, instead of plastic, they are handcrafted from sustainably harvested bamboo with a black stain. A bonus for those of you who spend a lot of time near water is that these bad boys also float. For each pair you purchase, Panda provides an eye exam and pair of prescription glasses to someone in need.
$120, Panda Sunglasses

5. Waiting for the Sun 9.6g Natural
French sunglass maker Waiting for the Sun, or W/SÜN, describes their aesthetic as “a special mix of vintage and actual tendencies, Californian laid back and French sophistication.” The round shape of these cute shades may not be for everyone, but if you can pull it off this is the trendiest style this summer. The frames are handmade from Teawood and the lenses are Carl Zeiss with good (category 3) UV protection.
Approx. $165, Waiting for the Sun

6. Eco-Optics 112
There are a few models of sunglasses that just never go out of style, and therefore make great investment pieces since you can use them year after year. These classic stainless steel pilots from Eco-Optics are made from 95% recycled content and feature polarized lenses.
$ 160, MODO

7. ICU Eyewear Classic Bright Temple
For those of you looking for shades with a built in fun-factor, this pair from ICU’s Sun Eco collection have a classic shape and bright mint green color accents by the temples. Very reasonably priced and made from reclaimed plastic these are a great choice for those of us concerned with both the environment and our own budgets.
$21.95, ICU Eyewear

8. Shwood Florence Select in Santos Mahogany
The sharp, yet refined Florence Select is made from luxurious Santos Mahogany with Maple inlays. The rounded shape is classic and flattering to most face shapes. Handcrafted in Schwood’s Portland, Oregon woodshop, from sustainable wood sourced from authorized and supervised plantations in different African countries.
$250, Shwood

Johanna Björk

Johanna is a sustainable fashion writer currently based in Ojai, CA. Read her weekly On Trend column to learn what's new in eco fashion.