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 || raeritchie.com
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 || raeritchie.com

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

Pala

Pala sunglasses || International Sunglasses Day 2018: Ethical Options || raeritchie.com

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

Panda's Wesli Ultralight || International Sunglasses Day 2018: Ethical Options || raeritchie.com
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

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

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.

 

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