The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

Get These Sunglasses! July 1, 2010

Needing a new pair of sunglasses, I decided I wanted to splurge on some high quality frames that are – what else – sustainably made. I thought I remembered seeing some cool bamboo frames, so I searched around on the internet, a search which yielded me these:

Kayu Sunglasses in Gaya style

Adorable, right? Here’s their creds (from creator Jamie Lim):

With each collection, I strive to keep our core principles of craftsmanship, ecology, and ethics in mind. All our products are handmade and feature natural materials. In addition, we remain committed to bettering the community by sponsoring one sight-restoring surgery for every pair of glasses sold…

Other creds?

  • Natural, renewable, sustainably sourced materials
  • Handcrafted by indigenous artisans in China, the Philippines, and Cebu (wherever that is…)

Can’t argue with that! I got myself a pair, and have been sporting them around the city and to the beach with pride.

wearing Kayu sunglasses More importantly, everyone LOVES these sunglasses. I get a compliment every time I wear them. Every. Single. Time. Last night I slipped them on to go up to the roof at work for drinks, and the creatives were absolutely obsessed. One Williamsburgian ended up outdoing me with his over-sized vintage frames, but he still seemed disappointed that Kayu only makes sunglasses for women. When your sunglasses help you network, you know they’re good.

They have a bunch of other styles, and (I just found this out and I’m so pumped!) they have adorable clutches too in materials like straw with turquoise snaps, shell, and mother of pearl. Kayu has a Toms-like thing going, donating a backpack and school supplies to kids in developing nations for every clutch sold.

They retail for about $180, which is a little steep, yes. But if I can just manage to hold on to this for more than a summer, I’ll consider it a great investment. Much better than the $5 plastic things I got off a street vendor last year….

[Update: In response to my post, Kayu has posted a pic on their website of a very suave-looking guy wearing their glasses… not bad!]