FreshForPandas

5 Reasons To Switch To Eco Glasses

5 Reasons to Switch to Eco Glasses

13 October 2020

Are Eco Glasses just hype? Eco Glasses are now everywhere, but what are the differences; recycled eco glasses, natural eco glasses, biodegradable eco glasses - it's easy to get confused!

The confusion is doubled with mixed marketing messages that insist on greenwashing entire ranges - promoting greener eco glasses that are simply not eco friendly. 

If you’re looking for a more eco friendly lifestyle, and want eco glasses to ensure you’re buying a pair which doesn’t negatively impact our environment, then read on for some home truths about the eco glasses industry and sustainable fashion industry in general.

What Are Eco Friendly Glasses ?

The term eco friendly glasses may sound like a simple and straight-forward meaning, but it is important to understand it from a marketing perspective; i.e. how eco does a pair of eco glasses need to be, in order to badge it as eco-friendly ?

Are eco glasses eco friendly if they’re made with just 20% recycled plastic? If not, what % of recycled plastic would a pair of eco glasses need to be considered eco-friendly?

You’ll be surprised to find 20% is often all larger corporate brands require to be considered ‘sustainable’. Big marketplaces and manufacturers are quick to promote eco glasses that are only 20% eco friendly - so it’s important for a consumer to ask brands to define what they mean by eco-friendly. 

Eco Glasses Prescription Eco Friendly Spectacles

Bruno - Walnut Wood Layered with Carbon Fibre

Eco Glasses Prescription Spectacles Eco Friendly

What Are Eco Friendly Glasses ?

  • Recycled - glasses made from recycled plastic; anywhere from 20% to 100% reclaimed plastics. Mixed plastics need to be bonded with virgin plastic; hence why larger glasses brands only use around 20% recycled. 100% recycled plastic brands often use a single source (such as fishing nets). This ensures next to no virgin plastic would be required 
  • Biodegradable - materials that naturally decompose in the environment. This could be materials made from natural materials, to metals which naturally occur in the environment. Consideration has to be put into the production. As often, metals and other processed natural materials use not so eco-friendly production methods.
  • Sustainable - materials that are produced from materials which are in abundance - and doesn’t take away from the environment during production. However sustainable materials, doesn’t necessarily mean biodegradable, or eco-friendly. Certain metals are sustainable as they can be reused and recycled. However the processing of these means they may not be eco-friendly. Certain metals are also naturally not biodegradable, as they are naturally found in the environment, it means they are non-biodegradable but potentially non damaging to the environment. Take Titanium, for instance. Titanium is a naturally occurring metal. It does not rust and is therefore not biodegradable. However as it is a naturally occurring metal, it takes less production energy to produce, and when disposed of, doesn’t negatively impact the environment. 
  • Ethical - Are these eco glasses produced with ethics in mind? This could cover ethically sourced materials - ones that don’t chop down rainforests or destroy eco-systems. And were the production of these eco glasses kind to the employees - paid a fair wage and working conditions that contributed to the society in which it was produced. Ethics is a very broad subject, and in terms of eco glasses, are tied closely to how eco-friendly your eco glasses are. 

Eco Glasses to consider for your next purchase

 Confused yet? I don’t blame you! So to condense the above into soundbites usable in your shopping endeavours, Questions to ask yourself and the brand you choose, include:

How much Virgin Plastic was used to make these ‘eco friendly glasses’?

How biodegradable is this item, once it is disposed of ?

How much energy was used to create them?

Did the production of this product damage the environment?

  • Eco Glasses made of metal - Go for Titanium, rather than Aluminum. Titanium uses less energy than aluminum, and aluminum mining is devastating to the environment. 
  • Eco Glasses made of plastic - how much virgin plastic is used? Remember, a marketeer won’t necessarily be lying by promoting an eco frame with only 20% recycled plastic 
  • Eco Glasses made with Bio-Acetate - Cellulose Acetate is made from plants; wood chipping and corn derivatives and other plant based oils. Check to ensure that the they are actually bio based, not made from phthalates plasticizers  
  • Eco Glasses made with Wood - Wood is naturally biodegradable. Production for wood eyewear is highly sustainable due to the byproduct being only sawdust. Compared to plastics and metals, production is much more of a natural process
  • Packaging - an essential part of the eco in eco glasses. Packaging often makes up the most of the waste of ubiquitous consumer products, and therefore must be accounted for in choosing eco glasses.

    Look for eco glasses brands who minimise or eliminate the use of plastic in both postage and retail packaging. Ensure your eco glasses do not come shrink-wrapped in plastic. 
Eco Glasses Prescription Spectacles Eco Friendly

Fitzroy - Plant-Based Bio-Acetate with Wood Temples

FreshforPandas Eyewear

Eco Glasses Prescription Spectacles Eco Friendly

Our eco glasses are unique to FreshforPandas. Designed in London, we have sold and refined our designs, selling over 12,000 of them in just the last few years. Starting with Bamboo as a material, we have evolved to develop eco glasses out of layered hard wood and carbon fibre.

This ensures our glasses stay on trend, as we can make thin, aesthetically pleasing frames, whilst improving strength to ensure our frames can withstand day to day use. The Carbon Fibre we use is a mere 2grams, thin layer. Just enough to ensure strength, whilst ensuring they stay true to our eco friendly roots.

Our packaging is now completely plastic free.
Recyclable postal boxes with recycled paper packing, where appropriate.
The tape we use to seal our postal boxes are recycled non-plastic based paper
The Retail box is designed for Direct To Consumer use, ensuring our eco glasses are secure, without the need for bubble wrap or other plastic fillers
We include a hard case, made from Cork
We ship carbon neutral where possible.

Our Acetate range is made with biodegradable acetate derived from wood chipping and corn oil, using non-fossil fuel plasticizers. Even without bio-acetate, our Acetate frames still have 30% less acetate than our nearest competitors, as our temples are 100% wood.
 

Why is this important?

The investments we make in ensuring our eyewear has been sourced responsibly , that our materials are eco-friendly and our packaging is plastic free cannot be underestimated. We believe in making eyewear better, sustainable and non-damaging to the environment. Whilst becoming a FreshforPandas customer alone won't save the plant, we're proud to be just one part of our customer's journey to buying responsibly.  

Our Eco Glasses Range

Eco Glasses eco friendly spectacles

All Eyeglasses

Our Handmade Optical Frames are the perfect alternative to mass-produced plastic and metal frames. Shop now for unique, refreshing designs as either a 2nd pair, to replace your daily spectacles or to protect against blue light during office hours.

Custom lens options are available; if you have specific requirements please email us at admin[at]freshforpandas.com and we will provide a tailored quotation. 

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