International Sunglasses Day 2018: Ethical Options

International Sunglasses Day 2018: Ethical Options

As a writer, I get a lot of press releases. A lot. And of varying quality.

Many of these are linked to the various awareness days that pepper the year. You know the sort of thing: Mental Health Awareness Week, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, International Talk Like A Pirate Day.*

Wednesday 27th June 2018 is International Sunglasses Day so I’ve been dutifully waiting for the onslaught of related press releases – to no avail.

As yet, nothing has arrived. Not a single email about sunglasses, whether linked to the day’s actual purpose of promoting the importance of wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays or simply hawking a new range.

Most odd. I’m wondering if something is actually wrong with my Inbox.

My Pala sunglassess || International Sunglasses Day 2018: Ethical Options ||
My Pala sunglasses in the sunshine

Beyond Ray-Bans

The world’s most popular sunglasses brand is, unsurprisingly, Ray-Ban. In 2016, they commanded 5 per cent of the global eye wear market while in 2017, parent company Luxottica made an enormous 9.16 million euros in net sales. Having spent a summer seeing them everywhere (including my own face), last September I wrote a reflection on what makes them so popular.

Now I’m wondering if we’ve hit peak Ray-Ban (prayban, maybe?!). Have they reached the point of ubiquity where they lose all their cool? Or has that moment already long past? Maybe I’m alone feeling a bit, well, bored by them.

If you’re looking for an alternative, there are some great ethical brands whose sunglasses not only look good but do good. Here are four options:

Dick Moby

Dick Moby sunglasses || International Sunglasses Day 2018: Ethical Options ||

These Amsterdam-based sunglasses makers use recycled acetate for their black frames and bio based acetate for all the others.


Pala sunglasses || International Sunglasses Day 2018: Ethical Options ||

Pala support vision projects in Africa. Through their buy a pair, give a pair scheme, they’ve helped to improve the sight of 5,000 people.


Panda's Wesli Ultralight || International Sunglasses Day 2018: Ethical Options ||
Panda’s Wesli Ultralight

As well as using sustainable bamboo for their frames, for each pair purchased, Panda donate an eye exam and new glasses to someone in need via partners Optometry Giving sight.


W.R.Yuma sunglasses || International Sunglasses Day 2018: Ethical Options ||

W.R.Yuma use recycled car dashboards, drinks bottles and fridges to make the world’s first 3D printed sunglasses created from plastic waste.

* International Talk Like A Pirate Day is 19th September 2018.


Writing, reading, listening: also known as what I’ve been doing for six months


Writing, reading, listening: Also known as what I've been doing for six months
Writing, reading, listening: Also known as what I’ve been doing for six months

When a PR recently mentioned that she’d been reading my blog, I broke out into verbal spasms. ‘No!’, I cried. ‘No! Don’t do that! No, what I mean is yes, please read it but I haven’t updated it for ages and honestly it’s a bit embarrassing to have not posted in so long and… and…’

The PR was very polite and insisted she loved reading the story about my niece rescuing Christmas. Even in June.

If not blogging, what have I been doing for the last six months?

Writing, reading, listening: Also known as what I've been doing for six months
In other news: I picked up some new glasses. What do you think?


The first half of 2018 has been full of writing, just none of it for the blog. Magazine writing, and latterly copywriting for corporate clients, has taken precedence. I’m in no way complaining about that, and I love the variety that comes with the freelance life.

Here are some of my highlights:

‘Say no to plastics in your bathroom’ in Planet Mindful, Spring 2018– print only but if you’re quick then I think this is still available.

‘Get your scarlet pout on with these ethical red lipsticks’ for The Ethicalist

‘Everything you need to know about Fairtrade’ for teen magazine Betty.

A full list of my recent publications is available on my Writing page.


Writing, reading, listening: Also known as what I've been doing for six months
In other news: I went to a press launch at The Ritz. Not the worse day of my working life.



I’ve also spent a lot of the year reading. My top picks, not all new releases, include:

Eat up: food, appetite and eating what you want by Ruby Tandoh: philosophical and practical, I ate it up in two sittings.

Roman Holiday: the secret life of Hollywood in Rome by Caroline Young: a page turner that draws you into la dolce vita of Hollywood’s golden days in Rome – it’ll make you want to hire a Fiat 500 and cruise the streets of the Italian capital.

An atlas of countries that don’t exist: a compendium of fifty unrecognized and largely unnoticed states by Nick Middleton: a tantalising tour of places that challenge our easy assumptions about politics, geography and statehood.

I post my reads, along with a one-sentence review, on a dedicated Pinterest board, should you be looking for any recommendations.


Writing, reading, listening: Also known as what I've been doing for six months
In other news: I’ve been to a CoverFX workshop. Creating foundation is harder than it sounds!


Right now I’m mainly listening World Cup coverage on the radio but generally I’ve been ploughing through podcasts, particularly as I’ve spent a lot of time gazing out of the window on trains.

Three of my favourites are:

Happier by Gretchen Rubin: the hosts, New York Times best-selling author Gretchen Rubin and her TV writer sister Elizabeth Craft, feel like my friends. Sad but possibly the sign of a great podcast.

Layers: a podcast of stories about style and how we get dressed: the pilot episode inspired me to don my favourite hat when nipping out of the house – and I bumped into an ex that I hadn’t seen in over fifteen years. Enough said.

#Amwriting with Jess and KJ: a show about writing, reading and getting (some) things done: I wish I’d discovered this podcast earlier in my freelancing life.