Ethical Eyewear with Sideroot

Australia is sunny. It’s a fact everyone knows, but something I’m not that used to dealing with in little old England. For months I’d been reluctant to buy sunglasses, with every high street pair being made of plastic (my new worst enemy) and easy to break, I just survived without them through the English summer. But Australia is a different matter when it comes to sun, and when Sideroot kindly sent me a pair of their sunglasses, well I was in luck.

Sideroot is a family business in northern Sweden, with founders Richard and Emelie deciding to put their design skills to the test by moving away from plastic and towards sustainably sourced wood as a material. They found most wooden sunglasses were not producing the kind of competitive designs of other companies, and decided to change that.

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Sideroot glasses aim to be as eco friendly as possible. Woods are chosen carefully, with all suppliers holding FSC licenses, meaning that the woods come from forests that are replanted and sustainable, and none of the woods are endangered species. The glasses are designed to use the minimum amount of metal and the ‘plastic’ tips are actually made from cotton acetate, a kind of natural plastic made through combining wood pulp and cotton fibres. This cotton acetate is also biodegradable and hypoallergenic, aka a wonder material. Each pair of glasses is also handmade to exact specifications, so no wasteful mass production here, and no unethical working practices because of being a family business in the EU. Win win win!

When it comes to packaging Sideroot also go for a sustainable wood based approach, using paper, cardboard, kraft paper and natural string. The only non wood element they use are staples, but even then they are trying to find new solutions. No plastic is involved at any point however, as one of their biggest aims is to be completely plastic free at every point of production until the glasses reach the customer. The one thing Sideroot can’t control is the environmental impact of shipping their glasses however, because they’re an EU based company, getting my glasses from them had a much lower carbon footprint than many other options out there. And instead they contribute what they can control, which is where the money they make goes. Sideroot have partnered with Trees for the Future and donate 10 trees for every pair they sell, with the hope to increase this amount as the company grows.
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So what do I actually think of the glasses? Well, I can’t express my love for them enough. Even before I actually left for tour I had started wearing these out and about on sunnier days, and I got so many comments on them from the get go. They’re lightweight, comfortable and they go with everything and anything you want to wear. I went for the Thirteen because I liked the added touch of the stripe and the interesting shape, and I love them so, soo much. I can’t stop wearing them and then telling people about the new glasses I’m wearing. I’ve had multiple people ask me about my sunglasses and where I got them from and I feel crazy confident when I wear them, so basically I can’t emphasise enough how much I like them from a fashion perspective. Some other great bonuses are that the case that comes with them folds up, making it extra portable when you’re on the go, and Sideroot glasses are also very well designed when it comes to protecting your eyes too, you can read more on that here.

Sideroot told me that for their next collection they plan to include the option for changing out the lenses to an optical lens or sunlens which is very exciting if you need glasses for sight. Also the next collection will feature coloured maple wood: another important thing to note while talking about being eco friendly as some companies use a process of colouring that requires copious amounts of water and chemicals, however Sideroot’s wood will be coloured using natural plant extracts. So exciting!

I love my Sideroot glasses, I love using these in Australia as they are IDEAL for the weather here whilst on tour. But I also love the future of where this company is going, and I’m already excited to see their next collection.

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Until next time, stay magic y’all.

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