As consumers, we’re all contributing to the problems our planet faces: greenhouse gas emissions are causing global warming, and the use of plastic is reaching astronomical highs.

At Joplins, we strive to do as much as possible to help. It’s still possible to save the planet, and choosing eco-friendly sunglasses is one way to help.

So why are eco-friendly and sustainable sunglasses the right choice?

  • They’re made from eco-friendly materials
  • You’re buying from companies that make a difference
  • You’re choosing products that are durable and high-quality

We’ll take a closer look at these reasons, providing you with four undeniable reasons you should choose sustainable sunglasses. 

1. Sustainable Sunglasses Are Made From Recycled Materials

At Joplins, we choose sustainable materials like wood, bio acetate, and bamboo to make our sunglasses. We don’t use plastic.


Did you know that plastic takes over 400 years to degrade? It’s one of the world’s least recycled materials. Only 9% of the world’s plastic is recycled

In other words, over 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste is in landfills. It gets worse; plastic pollution is making its way into our oceans as a final resting place.

excess plastics polluting the environment and increasing environmental footprint(Image source: Pexels

Traditionally, what are conventional sunglasses made of? Yep, that’s right, plastic. 

So what are the alternatives? 

You might be surprised to know that there are quite a few. Bio acetate, wood, and bamboo are three alternative materials. We’ve already mentioned that we use them instead of plastic, and here’s why:

Using Bio Acetate Instead of Plastic

Unlike regular plastic, which is made from petroleum-based nylon pellets, bio acetate is made from plants. 

Bio acetate is made with two components:

  • Cellulose acetate (which comes from wood) 
  • Plasticizer (made from citric acid esters) 

Bio acetate makes the best sustainable sunglasses as it’s not only kinder to the planet, but the manufacturing process is unique

Transparent sheets of bio acetate are combined with organic dyes to create eye-popping colors. Conversely, regular plastic is often painted or dyed with harmful chemical ingredients for the same effect.

Speaking of chemicals, traditional plastic is composed of many chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin. Bio acetate, on the other hand, is hypoallergenic and less problematic for the wearer.

Here’s a quick comparison between bio acetate and regular plastic.

Bio Acetate

Regular plastic

Made From

Cellulose acetate and citric acid esters



3 years in nature

400 years







Skin sensitivity


Can cause irritation


Higher cost (but better for the environment)

Cheaper (but worse for the environment)

The only downside to bio acetate is that it’s slightly more expensive than plastic; we hope this will change with more product uptake.

Overall, bio acetate is an excellent substitute for plastic — but it’s not the only choice for eco-friendly eyewear.

Using Sustainable Wood

The use of wood in products is more eco-friendly than you might think. Let’s take a look at why.

Sustainable hardwoods come from these fast-growing trees:

  • Black cherry 
  • Aspen
  • Elm
  • Tulip 
  • Willow
  • Cottonwood 
  • Soft maple trees 

All of these trees grow abundantly in the US, so they’re easy to source. 

Other benefits are that these woods are quick to dry and light to transport.

But what makes wood sustainable? Simply put, it meets these conditions:

  • Minimizes the impact of logging on forests and the surrounding wildlife 
  • Not a product of illegal logging that violates national or regional regulations

At Joplins, we source the wood in our range of wooden sunglasses from sustainable forests. 

Even better, our wood collection features men’s, women’s, and unisex designs in various colors and sizes to suit everyone.

wooden sunglasses will reduce your environmental footprint, even in prescription eyeglasses


Using Bamboo as an Alternative

When we first started Joplins, we made our initial range of sunglasses from bamboo, and we’re huge fans of it.

Did you know that bamboo is one of the most renewable sources on the planet? It only takes five years to grow to full maturity. 

Bamboo also helps save our planet by absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2). 

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) left in the atmosphere warms the planet and contributes to global warming

Also, bamboo doesn’t die after harvesting like trees do, which means no deforestation!

Finally, it’s easily accessible, and importing it has a smaller carbon footprint as it’s lighter than wood. 

Fact: Unlike plastic, bamboo is also compostable. 

bamboo is a renewable resource and proof eyewear can be made sustainably

So now we’ve talked about what materials are in the best sustainable sunglasses.
Let’s look at branding.

2. Top Brands That Sell Eco-Friendly Sunglasses Are FSC Approved

Some brands out there call themselves eco-friendly, but can they back that up? 

What makes a business eco-friendly?

In simple terms, it operates sustainably and uses renewable resources where possible, thereby causing minimal environmental damage.

Ideally, an eco-friendly brand will source recycled materials locally to reduce its carbon footprint. They’ll also work with environmentally responsible suppliers.

For example, we’ve just discussed wood and bamboo as alternatives to plastic. Wood is a finite resource and, therefore, must be sourced correctly. 

FSC® is the leading certification scheme for responsible forestry. 

A sustainable organization like Joplins will purchase raw wood and bamboo materials with an FSC®-certification.

It’s more than just the raw materials that matter. Sustainable and plastic-free packaging is required, too.

Green companies promote sustainable business practices and participate in environmental projects where available.

3. Sustainable Sunglasses are Longer Lasting

An often overlooked aspect of sustainability is durability. 

Products made from wood, bamboo, and bio acetate are more durable than products made purely from plastic because plastic is brittle. 

For this reason, sustainable products are slightly higher-priced than their non-sustainable counterparts—but it’s a case of paying more now and not having to fork out again for much longer. 

In other words, the cost per use of sustainable sunglasses is much lower, so in the end, you’re saving money. Instead of replacing a pair of sunglasses yearly, you can use sustainable sunglasses for three years or more.

4. Eco-Friendly Sunglasses Are Easy to Recycle

Once your sustainable eyewear has outlived its usefulness, they’re easily recyclable or compostable, so the planet wins again.

Wood and bamboo make excellent recycled materials. 

When you’re done with your sunnies, you can recycle the materials, and they’ll be turned into many valuable items like:

  • Kitchen utensils
  • Skateboards 
  • Snowboards
  • Furniture
  • Flooring
  • Mobile phone cases
  • Toilet paper

Alternatively, you may be searching for a new model, and your existing one still needs to complete its life cycle. Consider donating them to someone in need instead.

The Joplins Difference

At Joplins, we began with a sunglasses range made from bamboo. Now you can choose from wood, bio acetate, or a mix of both. Not only is our wood FSC® certified, but it’s also CE-marked and approved by the FDA. 

The beauty of using sustainable materials like wood and bio acetate is that every pair of sunglasses is unique. 

natural materials make for stylish shades

We also clean up 1kg of plastic from the world's beaches every time you click ‘Check Out.’

However, as wood features in many of our eco-friendly sunglasses, we want to give back there too. So, for every order you place, we will also plant three trees in partnership with Ecologi and Plastic Bank.

purchasing the best sustainable sunglasses from a sustainable brand helps to save the planet

Broad and Durable Range

The best sustainable sunglasses are meant to be trendy and status symbols. Our range of over 20 designs, wood, bio acetylene, and mixed, provide just that level of choice. We even have a range of blue-light glasses for those who work in front of computers all day.

Our sunglasses are made from wood and bio acetate and are more durable and last longer. Our 9-layer polarized lenses provide clear, glare-free vision and have a lifetime guarantee against breakages. 

Joplins has a wide range of high quality glasses using renewable materials

Choose a product from our range of wood or bio acetate instead of a pair of sunglasses made from plastic. You’ll have a lighter ecological footprint and protect your eyes with a sense of fashion. Your purchase will make a positive environmental impact. Just ask Bella:

proof eyewear made from recycled materials is good

December 27, 2022 — Rafael Dutra

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