The best eco-friendly sunglasses for skiers and snowboarders
Eco-friendly fashion is all the rage right now, and for good reason. Even when it comes to dressing to suit more niche activities – like skiing and snowboarding – there are products on the market which mean we don’t have to sacrifice style for being environment-conscious.
If you’re a keen skier or snowboarder, you’ll find that more eco-friendly products are emerging every year in the ski industry. For your snowy-slope equipment, there’s more sustainably sourced woods, and for wrapping up in skiwear, there are tons of eco-friendly fabrics to choose from.
But what about sunglasses? Sure, ski goggles are great for those real snowy days, but you’ll need a pair of quality sunglasses for sunny days. You’ll want hard-wearing and durability yet keeping in with your own style and practicality, too.
Avoid being the goof on the slopes by being the only person wearing ski goggles on a warm sunny day. Remember that your eyes are under major attack from the sun’s harmful rays while you’re out on the slopes, so don’t let your peepers get burned!
Here’s some tips on choosing the best eco-friendly sunglasses, so you can not only look good when cruising the mountains but feel good, too.
Choose your lenses wisely
For your sports eyewear, there is no such thing as an all-purpose lens. There are certain lens colours for winter sports you should make yourself aware of:
Grey and Smoke Tint Lenses
The grey, smoke and grey-green tints are the most common of tinted lens. They block out glare without changing the overall colour perception and are great for all-weather use.
Brown and Amber Tint Lenses
These provide the best contrast against white backgrounds, enhancing snow shadows on a ski slope which indicates ridges or bumps on the surface. Brown lenses are better for bright, sunny conditions, and amber tends to be better for lower light conditions (when the sun goes behind the clouds).
Yellow Tint Lenses
Yellow is great for highly overcast and low-light situations, such as fog. The yellow filters out blue light, which emphasises shadows in the snow, so that you can see the bumps better. Overall, they improve contrast and give a heightened sense of visual acuity.
Best styles for on the slopes
Rectangular Polarised Sunglasses
A rectangular-shape sunglass frame ensures your eyes have optimum coverage from the sun. Not as chunky as ski goggles, the bulkier shape means that the construction of these sunglasses will hold up. Look for a pair of oversized rectangular shades which have slight padding to the nose bridge, and good-quality spring hinges.
An oversized rectangular pair of sunglasses give a sportier feel, which works perfectly for both men and women doing winter sports. Just make sure to choose polarised lenses, which are essential for the slopes. The special coating helps to fend off the sun’s glare, which also prevents you from squinting (which can cause headaches) or getting dazzled (which is dangerous!). Look for rectangular shapes in natural materials, such as wood, stone, recycled aluminium, responsibly sourced titanium and bio-based materials.
Wooden Wayfarer Sunglasses
Natural wooden wayfarer-style sunglasses are a modern, environmentally friendly take on the iconic wayfarer sunglasses. Look for pairs sculpted from renewable wood, like ebony or zebra wood. If you ensure the pair comes with Polarised Lenses with a UV protection of around 400, these sharp, large fitting style shades will block 100% of harmful UV-A and UV-B light.
The wraparound design sunglasses not only look sleek when hitting the slopes, they also provide the ultimate protection for your eyes, covering up any gaps when the sun can sneak in. Wraparound sunglasses have been a popular choice for winter sports due to how durable they are, but also due to the fact they are super secure when it comes to staying in one place – on your face!
You might struggle to find bamboo or wood wraparound frames, although they are out there. Look for biodegradable acetate or recycled materials, too.
Best styles for off the slopes
Bamboo or Wood Aviators
We all know one of the best bits of a skiing or snowboarding trip is the après-ski! For keeping your eyes shaded from the sun but looking the part while sipping your well-deserved drink, aviators are one of the most stylish options.
Whilst the aviator shape isn’t so sturdy for when you’re in action on the slopes, they are the perfect style and design to pop on sitting outside the cabins or having an after-ski stroll. Look for bamboo and wood styles which work well with the finer frame detailing.
Cat Eye or Round Style Sunglasses
When off the slopes, you can afford to up your fashion game slightly. And nothing screams après ski style quite like a slick pair of cat-eye sunglasses (more so for the women), or a retro-finish pair of round frames.
Again, make sure that these feature polarised lenses with 100% UV protection. As round sunglasses tend to be daintier, look for ones with durable stainless-steel hinges, but without the petroleum-based plastic frames that continue to fuel global dependence on oil. Instead, look for round frames made from plant-based plastic, which are biodegradable, recyclable, compostable, and renewable. Or, look for recycled metals and of course, wood or bamboo styles, too.
By seeking out eco-friendly sunglasses for the slopes not only means you can still be ahead in the style and functionality stakes, but to embrace a key environmental ethic too. Sunglasses made from recycled, repurposed, renewable, or bio-based materials are becoming more accessible, meaning you can rest assured you’re following your eco-friendly stance on your next skiing or snowboarding trip!