Still Life photographed by NED MATURA

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From left: ECO OCEAN Whitby from Modo; STELLA MCCARTNEY SC40037I from Thelios

From top: POLAROID D466 from Safilo; BOTANIQ 1003T from Tura; ANDY WOLF 02 from Andy Wolf Eyewear

From left: DRAGON Kaj LL from Marchon Eyewear; PARADIGM Farrah from Kenmark Eyewear

Eyewear is still in an early flirtation stage with the agenda and challenges of sustainability. The reasons are mainly twofold: Consumers and retailers are still relatively tempered in their urge to embrace the potential of an eyewear product devoted to environmental greening. And the basic materials of frames are built on the composition of a range and sometimes blend of acetate and conditioned metals with both ingredients legend in their sometimes toxic effects on this world we live in and increasingly strive to protect.

That said, tremendous strides have been made most recently on the part of vendors and manufacturers committed to making this world a better place with adjustments to both the materials and the processes inherent to eyewear.

Composite formulas have been invented and reformulated. Recycling is encouragingly on the increase. New and earth-friendly materials are being implemented. Awareness is being heightened by both vendors and retailers. And powerful initiatives are being put in place that adhere to sustainable practices without the sacrifice of quality, price and never to be dismissed, style.

Join 20/20 in celebrating a carefully curated collection of eyewear styles, collections and brand entities devoted to sustainability. Let’s explore this hopefully surging world of Eyewear Optimists.

–James J. Spina