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Spectacular Sustainable Double Vision
Thursday, Nov 18, 2010, 4:35 PM
Sophisticated ‘geek chic’ has carved itself steadily into mainstream fashion, accompanied by the ultimate accessory, the spectacles. While eyewear is hot, as well as a necessity for sight correction and protection from harmful rays, the flip side is its inevitable contribution to the wasteful impact associated with fashion.
Traditionally made from glass and tortoise shell, glasses have become part of our disposable fashion cycle. Situated within trends, their fashionable nature has evolved to the use of plastic frames and lenses and besides spectacles, contact lenses. With disposable contact lenses comes packaging and solution bottles, both accumulating significant waste. Nonetheless the production of stylish specs trumps the waste caused by contact lenses, with its energy intensive and toxic production cycle.
Generally made from heavily laminated acetates derived from non-renewable oil, the manufacturing process is highly polluting. Some specs have silicon pads on the nose bridge to provide more comfort. Combining these components and regularly throwing them on a compost heap will leave these specs there for generations to come. This scenario is not helped by opticians speeding up sales of trend driven styles, with ‘buy two for one’ offers helping to average the lifespan of a pair of specs to 2.2 years per pair.
Yet if the style is right, spectacles become a personal signature (just like a great perfume), and may persuade the owner to hold on to that particular pair for a significant time frame. Alternatively, vintage, reclaimed materials, sustainably forested wood and even biodegradable materials will add to style statements with true vision.
Vintage eyewear and sunglasses make a fine trip down memory lane past the windows of luxury designers and fashion eras, celebrating style that makes a green difference.
Roope Vintage stand out for their global selection of vintage styles. This chic selection of Christian Dior, retro gold and retro wood ranges includes “vintage eyewear gathered by Robert Roope from all over Europe over the last 30 years.”
Teresa’s Vintage 50s Eyewear holds a luxurious selection of eyewear and sunnies with boundless elegance. This selection includes French eyewear, Shuron eyeglasses, G-Man frames, Ray-Ban sunglasses, rhinestone cat eye vintage, and emo and nerd eyewear.
Rare Vintage Sunglasses are true connoisseurs of the rarest vintage sunglasses dating from the 1930s to 1990s. Their glamorous pieces include Yves Saint Laurent aviators, Fendi classics and oversized 1970s Serge Kirchhoffer. Divine!
Recently launched by Vision Express is an exclusive eyewear range made from 95% recycled materials, offering a mainstream eco solution. The MODO ECO collection brings a ‘green conscience’ to the high street. Inspired by classics and urban chic, this range sees style and environment effortlessly holding hands.
Brian Linnington, Product and Marketing Manager at Vision Express recognises their customers are “environmentally aware, and that’s why for every pair of MODO ECO specs sold, a tree will be planted in developing communities.” Additionally, MODO ECO have launched a ‘national recycling’ event, where customers can recycle their old pair of specs to obtain a discount on a new pair in every Vision Express store until mid December 2010. The old frames will be given to Vision Aid Overseas.
Eco friendly and sustainable eyewear also puts the focal point on renewable materials, including bamboo, reclaimed woods and horn. These gorgeous pink bamboo sunnies by Takemoto are the latest best seller by Colin Balls of Colin Leslie Eyewear, who globally represents eco eyewear designers, including UNITDOT. Wayfarers, aviators and reading glasses made from bamboo material are paving the way for new styles, and an array of designers are honing in on materials such as ox and yak horn to use for stylish frames.
Moonwoods are made from milled ends and hard wood scraps that carpenters discard. Founded three years ago by husband and wife team Danielle and Justin Wayland (both sculptors and spectacle wearers), together they craft functional, artistic designs using woodwork, reflecting their sustainable vision and our impact on future generations. Each pair is individually customised, hand carved using traditional techniques and an array of Japanese sawing and joining skills. The frames are finished with natural beeswax and oil, sealing the wood without using harsh chemicals – making a spectacular match for our environment, as well as my spectacle collection.
Annegret Affolderbach | TribaSpace
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