Why Sustainable Eyewear?

The eyewear industry is over three hundred years old. And it's got a bit set in its ways. Like lots of older industries, it grew up in a time when priorities were a bit different. When making things cheap was more important than making things that last.

When nobody gave too much thought to what happens to products go when they break or get lost. Or whether the materials and energy used to make them damaged the world we live in. But times have changed. And so must our industry.

What's wrong with sunnies?

Sadly most sunglasses are made from petroleum-based virgin plastics that take upwards of 450 years to decompose. Yikes!

A typical sheet of acetate used to create a pair of sunglasses contains ~40% petroleum-derived plasticisers and stabilisers, and 75% of it is usually WASTED during the manufacturing process.

In addition to this, most eyewear manufacturing takes place overseas (as there is little to no local production plants in Australia) meaning BIG carbon impacts from shipping plus additional packaging for transportation. 

Although great strides are being made within the industry, not all products are created equal.

In most shops, the best and worst glasses are displayed right next to each other, with nothing to distinguish the sunglasses that have a better sustainability rating from those that are downright worst.

At the moment it is difficult to get reliable information detailing the environmental impact of the sunnies you really like. That's why we launched Folkal.

Let's make eyewear famous for sustainability

Nowadays, we have access to the technology and materials to significantly improve the way eyewear is made and the way it gets into your hands. And improvements are being made all the time.


There are many components that make a product more 'sustainable' than others.

If you look at the definition of 'sustainable products' it describes them as products that provide environmental, social and economic benefits while protecting public health and environment over their whole life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials until the final disposal.

To create a product that is 100% sustainable is difficult.

Folkal is making steps to improve this process bit by bit and helping to highlight the changes that need to happen.

We looked at what the fashion industry is doing and consulted with sustainability experts to define the elements that makes a pair of sunglasses more sustainable.

We developed a Rating System to help identify brands and individual styles of sunglasses that are doing good, better and best when it comes to the planet.

It's important to note though that providing a rating system to help consumers make more planet-conscious choices is only the beginning.

We're looking at all kinds of things, from better ways to recycle your old glasses to better ways to keep them looking and feeling good for longer.

We'll do our best to be open and transparent about everything we're doing and/or trying over on our blog.