Which side are you on when it comes to picking frames? Many people are still on the fence when it comes to frame choice. A significant number of people are choosing wood over the usual plastic frames nowadays mainly because they are eco-friendly, but is that true?
There are quite a lot of reasons why you would want to choose wood frames over plastic. Below are just some of these reasons:
Wood is Sustainable
When it comes to manufacturing materials, few can compare to how eco-friendly wood is. This is doubly true if the wood came from sustainable sources. Few other materials can help alleviate climate change just by producing more of it. The more trees there are in tree farms, the bigger their impact is in reducing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Also, the production and processing of wood frame glasses use a lot less energy compared to glasses frames made from steel, acetate, plastic, or any other material. The less energy is used in production, the lesser emissions are sent into the atmosphere.
Wood is also biodegradable and recyclable. If by some chance, your sunglasses broke beyond repair, it is possible to recycle the frame and turn it into a new pair. In any case, even if you do not recycle it, the frame will not be sitting on the ground for thousands of years like traditional plastics would.
Moreover, the wood used for making wooden eyewear frames comes directly from trees specifically grown for lumber. Unlike conventional logging, the trees used for sustainable logging grow quickly and are constantly replanted. Because trees are constantly planted, they provide a lot of benefits to the environment.
Wood Does Not Contain Harmful Substances
Another nice thing about using wooden frames is that wood is naturally durable. Wood does need that much processing, aside from sun or kiln drying. Compare that to plastic or metal processing that needs to use dozens of different chemicals before a usable material is made, and you will have an assurance that wood is safe and does not contain harmful substances.
Assembly of Wooden Sunglasses
In terms of mass production, both wooden and plastic sunglasses go through similar processes. Both wood and plastic arrive at the factory, and the frames are cut using pre-defined templates based on the company’s design. The biggest difference is the waste that they produce.
With plastics, you are left behind with strips of plastic and an abundance of plastic dust. As much as the factories try to clean the microplastic particles on the manufacturing floor, a significant still end up polluting landfills or getting into the water supply. No matter how careful the manufacturers are, they will still inadvertently pollute the environment.
When making wooden eyeglasses, the majority of the waste is just sawdust, which is biodegradable.
Choices of Materials
So what are your options for the materials of your chosen wooden frames? Here are some of the ones you can choose from:
There is no denying that bamboo is the most sustainable wood material to date. Bamboo can grow as fast as a foot a day, and it can grow anywhere it can get enough sun.
Cork is yet another highly renewable material used for making sunglass frames. The nice thing about cork is that the tree does not need to be cut down to harvest material. The cork is just the bark of the Quercus Suber tree, which the tree can regrow in a couple of years.
Skateboard wood is technically wooden strips laminated together to make a whole plank. This is the ideal type of wood for skateboards because it is flexible and durable. The term skateboard wood is used a lot in the sunglass manufacturing industry because the wood undergoes the same process, and not because they recycle old skateboards.
Wooden frames are indeed much more eco-friendly compared to plastic acetate frames, for now. Technology is quickly evolving and acetate plastics might become more ecologically feasible in the years to come. However, for now, wood (sustainable wood that is) is still king.