November 15 is America Recycles Day sponsored by Keep America Beautiful a national event that brings attention to the importance of recycling. In the optical world, there are many organizations that encourage and promote the recycling of lenses and eyewear. Optical Surfacing labs are looking to recycle their toxic waste and water. The problem is we have a lot of waste. Broken lenses, demo lenses, plastic bags, broken eyeglasses just to start.
America has 5% of the worlds population but generates 30% of the worlds trash. Each American waste or cause to be wasted 1 Million pounds of material. Only 2% of that waste is recycled.
While there are many ways we can recycle lenses and eyewear, there are companies that are making eyewear from recycled materials. Today we are honoring those companies that are making treasured eyewear from trash.
1.) From Chile based eyewear company Karun: Available in February 2016, this sustainably sourced wood eyewear side shields are made from recycled Salmon Skins. Fresh from the cannery, the skin is usually thrown away. It is now dried and treated to make these side shields.
2.) Also in wood, Woodzee teamed with Makers Mark to make eyewear from the wooden barrel staves.
3.) Homes Eyewear is making wood eyeglasses from abandoned homes in Detroit.
4.) Traps Eyewear is reclaiming old Lobster Traps in their sunglass collection.
6.) There are several companies making eyewear from paper. Paper and Paper from Spain, 7.) Art Life (Spain) 8.) Chimm (China) 9.) Paper Style 10.) Papper Look are all reusing paper that is normally recycled and making eyewear.
11.) Review Sunglasses are made from trash. Consisting of 2 CD and DVDs and enhanced with agricultural waste from rice husks. The sunglass case packaging is made with post consumer waste consisting of recycled PP (polypropylene)
There are several companies now that are making eyewear from Vinyl Records. 12.) Parkman Sunglasses made a limited edition sunglasses, 13.) Spex Wax will make custom eyewear from Vinyl Records and 14.) Vinylize (Tipton Eyeworks) was the first to reuse vinyl records to make eyewear.
15.) Continuing on their quest to help save our oceans. Karun Eyewear is also involved in reusing Ghost Nets (abandoned fishing lines) to make Eyewear.
16.) Americans throw about 65 pounds of textiles every year. New company Mosevic is in the process of creating eyewear from denim.
17.) Dick Moby in the Netherlands is making eyewear from industrial plastic waste. The black frames are 97% recycled.
For more innovative up cycled and eco-friendly eyewear companies see Unique Eyewear