Every parent knows that children are magnetically attracted to making messes; they’re also not the most careful of beings. Things mysteriously break and clothes are permanently stained. Every parent also knows that’s par for the course when raising happy, healthy children.
To help combat the inevitable smudges and scrapes, a few environmentally-conscious eyewear companies have developed glasses that are easier to clean and more resistant to cracks. Glasses made using these optical innovations usually last longer and are more comfortable for kids. In addition to buying new eyewear from eco-friendly companies, there are traditional conservation methods families can employ to further reduce their “eyeglass-footprint”.
Child-friendly, Eco-Conscious Eyewear Manufacturers
Essilor’s Airwear Lenses
Essilor is the world’s leading manufacturer of optical lenses. For such a large company, they get high marks in environmentalism and conservation. Recently, the company developed a line for children called Essilor Junior ™ Airwear. Designed for little faces, junior Airwear lenses are 43% lighter and 25% thinner than the average. Not only are these glasses more comfortable, but they’re also coated with Trio Clean—a non-toxic substance that makes the lens significantly more resistant to smudging and scratching. In other words, Essilor Juniors are both eco- and accident-friendly eyewear.
Amy Sacks Eyewear
Ann Sacks is the founder and lead designer at Amy Sacks Eyewear. Ann named the company after her daughter, Amy. Sacks’ classic collection of bamboo frames is perfect for mom and dad. The company also carries a line of fun, child-appropriate eyewear. Ann and Amy Sacks are animal lovers and founders of the Pixie Project—a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping abused animals. Portions of every sale are put towards the foundation.
The Greenest Glasses are Second-Hand
When you’re in search of children’s glasses, buying second-hand is a smart choice—both economically and environmentally. You’ll be surprised at the variety and quality of frames at your local thrift store. Considering that children grow like weeds and teenagers’ tastes change as frequently as their moods, inexpensive frames make even more sense. If you don’t have a consignment or thrift store in your area, the companies below are in the business of selling second-hand glasses.
Blue Planet Eyewear
Blue Planet’s eyewear is made from recycled materials. They’re also a dealer of second-hand glasses. The company only uses lead-free colorings and nickel-free metals in their products. Blue Planet is dedicated to recycling and conservation; 65% of their packaging is composed of post-consumer materials.
Consider this a warning: once you open Allyn Scura’s website, you may get lost in there for hours. Why? There are pages and pages of fabulous vintage frames for sale, and their selection of eyewear for children is great! It’s not just for the young ones: mom, dad and teenagers will all find a pair of must-have glasses on Allyn Scura. It’s an online cornucopia of second-hand, ‘new-old-stock’ and vintage glasses for all budgets and tastes.
Children who wear glasses go through them quickly, so the key is to make sure their eyewear is appropriate yet affordable. After all, who can afford to plunk down hundreds of dollars every time their kid has an accident or grows? Buying new eco-friendly glasses definitely helps to reduce landfill waste, but buying second-hand specs is perhaps the greenest (and most economically responsible) way to go.
[Sara Roberts is a content contributor for Just Eyewear, a prescription glasses retailer.