Closely following my obsession with hats is this new found love for sunnies and eye wear in general. There are a bunch of designer brands out there, but I’ve narrowed down my search for the perfect pair considerably by looking into artisan brands that also take the environment into consideration in their production process (If we do not take care of our earth, who will?).
Here is a short list of some of my favourite eye wear brands…
First up is the Ghanaian brand, Dedo Azu, run by the amazing woman of the same name.
I came across her work in fashion a while back on Fab Four Fashion and so was pleasantly surprised when she popped up on my radar for her extremely fashionable eyewear collection. I want one! (Or 3)
This takes ‘cool’ to a whole other level.
Kraft makes beautifully crafted wooden eyewear. A small Durban design family (husband and wife Rhett & Kerry Baker. And of course, Sushi, the dog) with a love of sustainable and local design, of high quality construction and of creating the ‘out of the ordinary’. Out of respect for the environment, Kraft chooses to use different exotic hardwoods sourced predominantly from cut-offs and repurposed salvaged pieces. Nothing is wasted.
The styles come in a variety of wood and are retro in design with lenses that are polarized and offer full UV protection.
The science of deconstructing and reconstructing fabric into pieces of art. Who doesn’t like the sound of that? I know I do. A brand that focuses on zero waste, believes in sustainability and ecofashion already has my attention. Add to that beautiful designs and I’m totally sold!
Textile remnants are collected from local seamstresses and tailors to create one of a kind fabric sunglasses. Remnants from the sunglasses are used to create beautiful pouches that house the glasses. Remnants from that are used for fine art projects. What is left is used for product packaging. Like I said, zero waste!
Textiles and Alchemy is another husband and wife team that meticulously makes by hand all the pieces in the collection using fabric from Africa and around the world.
Rodrigo Richardson, the husband of the duo, is also a visual artist whose work you can find here.
(Keep an eye out for their soon to be released vintage collection).
Another wooden eyewear brand I love, interestingly also out of Cape Town, South Africa, Ballo frames are handmade from a unique combination of recycled paper and off-cut timber. Each piece is finished with either off-cut timber, upcycled denim, ShweShwe (printed dyed fabric widely used for traditional South African clothing) or domestic buffalo horn. Ballo frames are fitted with high quality polarized lenses and spring hinges.
When it comes to design, craftsmanship and environmentally friendly production, Ballo checks all the boxes!
There are a lot more artisan eyewear brands out there and this list is definitely missing some. So if you have any favourites that aren’t here, please share in the comments.
And if you’re hunting for a new pair, hopefully this list provides you with options.