I really want to share with you my new sunglasses, my first ones in over ten years. Yep, I’ve been wearing the same sunglasses through all the fashion trends for the past ten years but I haven’t been able to see a thing out of them for half that time. So, I’ve only been wearing them while driving the car – over the top of my glasses! It gives everyone a good laugh when I pull up beside them for a yack because they stick out about two inches from my face.
I decided this was getting a bit ridiculous (and uncomfortable) and I didn’t want to squint my way through another summer and autumn, so when I came across a Facebook post about Dresden eyewear, I started looking into what they do and decided their recycled plastic prescription sunglasses were for me.
I chose frames made from recycled milk bottle tops and beer keg caps donated by local cafes and brewers!
Actually, my choice was based on the colour I thought would suit me best from the recycled frames range, and frame colour is determined by the colour of the plastic material being recycled.
Hilariously, when I told my kids I was getting sunglasses made from milk bottle tops and beer keg caps I was met with groaning and “don’t do that mum, you’ll look like a dork and it’ll be embarrassing!” It took me a moment to realise they thought I was literally going to wear sunglasses made from stuck-together milk bottle tops!
Why did I choose Dresden’s modular recycled plastic frames for my sunglasses? Because they are:
- Great at customer service. Sarah was very helpful and all I had to do was send my prescription, then they sent back my sunnies. This was a huge time saver for me.
- Made by a Dresden staff member in Australia.
- Very affordable compared to other sunglasses frames (from just $69!).
- Lightweight and durable.
- A simple modular system with a single classic frame shape and interchangeable lenses and frame parts (which come in a range of sizes and a riot of colours, even the pins).
- Packaged in cardboard and have accessories like felt wool cases.
- Made from waste plastic like milk bottle tops and beer keg caps. They’re also trying out frames made from ‘ghost nets’ from Arnhem Land and rejected LEGO parts.
“By seeing and treating plastic waste as a valuable resource, we want to be part of the solution to what can seem a fairly daunting environmental challenge. Every small step we take in this direction is helping unclog our ecosystem of that discarded plastic, and giving a smarter, new purpose to those materials.”
You really should read more about what recycling plastic means to the Dresden team.
Supporting businesses like Dresden is a good strategy for slowing down our ‘take, make, dispose’ linear economy, meaning we can do more with less virgin resources. It will also drive innovation and aid the development of retrieval systems for ‘waste’ materials, and help build the mindset that there is no such thing as waste, only resources to tap into.
We also need to remember that recycling difficult-to-avoid plastic also requires us to buy and use recycled plastic products that are put to good use (there are some products like recycled plastic clothing that I currently can’t bring myself to support because of the microfiber issue). No one will recycle plastic if there is no market for the end products, and moving away from plastic being thought of as a disposable material to something of value, will help ensure it is captured and not allowed to escape into the environment.
We haven’t had a lot of sunshine so far down in Gippsland, but here’s me feeling pretty good about my choice. These sunglasses are wilder than what I would normally choose but I love this because it makes them a great casual conversation starter about waste, plastic and recycling.
For transparency, I’m happy to support this business helping us transition to a circular economy and they’ve also chosen to support my path, by giving me these sunglasses after I had made my decision.
P.S. I should point out that my old sunnies are now my husbands. He breaks and destroys sunglasses rather quickly working outdoors everyday, so as he needed a new pair and I needed to see while wearing sunglasses, he took mine and I ordered these. An alternative could have been to replace the lenses in my old sunglasses to keep waste low.