More Sustainable Eye Glasses – Wood or Human Hair?

"eye glasses human hair"If you think these sunglasses are made from tortoise shell, guess again.

Accessories may be one of the most important places for an ecologically minded designer to start.  Accessories are the victims of quickly changing trends and fads, and so their unsustainable fashionable-ness makes their ecological sustainability greatly needed.  We’ve seen other green designers tackle this issue before, creating purses out of old tire inner tubes, wallets out of discarded wrappers, and clutches made from old architectural designs.  However we have not yet seen designers stare sustainable accessories in the face.

Namely, take it to one of the most ubiquitous fashion accessories of all – the eye or sun glasses.  And now we’re faced with two sets of designers tackling the issue in very different ways: one making eye glasses from human hair (seen above) and the other making them from wood.

"wood eye glasses"Ezri Tarazi, an industrial designer and the Head of the Industrial Design Department at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, is the one responsible for the wood glasses seen above together with Shoham Zak.  Made from special laminated wood layers, they are extremely strong (even though, from a practical perspective, they are not collapsible).

Tarazi notes that they are suitable for people with skin allergies to metal and plastic.  In terms of energy consumption, the wood is probably much less energy intensive to obtain than metals and plastic.  With a slight tweak in the design to make these frames from durable and quickly growing bamboo, these glasses would be much more sustainable.

"human hair glasses"Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves, two graduates from the Royal College of Art in the UK, are behind the “Hair Glasses” line to the left – a collection of sustainable fashion eyewear exploring the potential of human hair.  Made from human hair and bioresin, the frames are completely biodegradable and no harmful substances are released during production.

In attempt to explain why they would use human hair, the two founders of Studio Swine explain that “the UK beauty industry imports 15 million pounds worth of human hair per year.  As the world’s population continues to increase, human hair has been reimagined as a viable – importantly renewable – material.”

Maybe human hair is the new bamboo?

Read more about sustainable fashion accessories:
Elanit Neutra Promises More Mileage Out of Your Purse
Beggars Can Be Choosers: Amit Brilliant’s Recycled Wallets
Ecoist Accessories Make Eco-Friendly Egoists Look Good

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