“Seriously Sustainable Sunglasses” is the motto of Sunski. The company was created by two friends Michael and Tom, who originally tried selling an innovate chip and salsa bowl. When this company didn’t make it, they decided to make a sustainable Aussie-styled sunglasses company. They are the first company to make their sunglasses out of recycled plastic, giving them a unique edge in the industry. They are also very sustainably-minded, with their mission being to make the outside better for now and future generations. Sunski designs their sunglasses based on a balance of modern and performance style. These sunglasses are designed for the active wearer looking for a more stylish, affordable, sustainable pair of sunglasses. Sunski prioritizes style, fit, performance, value, and sustainability. In my opinion, they do a pretty good job of this. The sunglasses range from $35-$98 with most of their bestsellers costing around $50, a cheaper alternative to many of the popular sunglass brands today.
The sunglass frames are made out of recycled plastic that otherwise would have been put in to an Illinois landfill. The lenses are made from tri-acetate cellulose (TAC). The tri-acetate cellulose core includes a solid polarization layer, and the lenses offer 100% full-spectrum UV protection, including UVA, UVB and UV400 wavelengths. In addition, Sunski offers replacement lens for sale so you only need to buy one frame of sunglasses ever, even if your preferred color of lens changes. The TAC lenses provide the eye protection that is necessary in sunglasses but are not as durable as some of the other materials including plastic or glass. However, many of the competitors also use TAC lenses and it helps keep Sunski’s sunglasses lightweight and affordable.
I was unable to find specific details on how the sunglasses are made, by I assume the frames are created by melting and shaping plastic and the lens are fit to the frame with two screws attaching the ear pieces. The packaging does not contain any plastic, making Sunski the only sunglasses company in the world to do this. Instead, they use “innovative origami folds” to keep the product safe during transportation to the consumer. Sunski also has a lifetime warranty on their sunglasses and will fix your sunglasses in order to avoid them ending up in a landfill. This is a great idea since many companies do not have a service that will repair your current product and fix them, as it is generally not in the companies best interest financially.
Sunski sunglasses are designed in San Francisco and created in Wenzhou, China. The company claims to “thoroughly [vet] and visit [factories] frequently”, however, no further information is given about workers conditions. This makes me quite skeptical about who is making the product and their conditions. Sunski could definitely improve on its transparency around this issue.
Despite not being able to find much about workers conditions and wages, Sunski has joined the international organization “1% for the planet”, and donates 1% of all profits to environmental non-profits which has totaled over $150,000 so far. 1% does not sound like very much to me, however, I respect their transparency on how much they donate as opposed to many businesses that just advertise “a proportion of sales” being donated. The company website also pledged to go carbon neutral by 2020, but whether that goal has been met was fairly vague. Either way, Sunski has caught my attention as a sustainable alternative to many of the other sunglass companies I have seen.