Ethical and sustainable wooden sunglasses by Coral Tree
If you are looking to buy ethical and sustainable sunglasses, the handcrafted wooden beauties by Coral Tree* are a stylish option.
When I lost my old pair of sunglasses I knew I had to replace them with a sustainable pair. I was delighted when I uncovered Coral Tree* in my research. The make sunglasses for guys and gals, and many of their styles are unisex, making it easy to find what you need. Polarized lenses offer comprehensive protection against UV rays.
Although they are based in Australia, Coral Tree* offers worldwide shipping. With the Australian dollar doing so poorly on the international currency market, this makes these Australian products a bargain for shoppers in the US, UK, EU and parts of Asia.
Sustainable through-and-through, they also ship your package in 100% recycled padded eco-mailbags. This was the first time I had seen this particular type of mailbag- the padding is made up of paper pulp housed between two sheets of cardboard. They keep your glasses safe without the use of plastic! The tags are also made from recycled paper and sticky tape they use to plant-based and biodegradable. This attention to detail really impressed me.
Each style is named after a topical island, and they do exude a beach vibe. But they are equally at home in an urban setting. Very modern, but with a timeless feel to them, I know these sunglasses are a style that I will love to wear for years.
They also stock a range of eco-friendly accessories including cork leather phone and tablet cases, and wooden earrings. Many of the small wooden items are made with off-cuts and waste from the sunglasses production. Check in with their store as they range is continuing to expand.
I had a chance to chat with Vicky, the founder of Coral Tree to ask her a few questions about herself, and why she was driven to create her sustainable brand. Here is what she had to say:
“Both myself and Sam (my fiancé and partner) grew up always outdoors, we love nature and the
environment. In our daily lives we try to live with as little a carbon footprint as we can and almost
everything we own is second hand. We keep free range chooks and grow some fruit and veg (if we
can keep them away from the chickens!). I studied conservation, ecology and evolution at uni and
after working and volunteering with different projects including Cairns Turtle Rehab Centre, we
decided to start out own company making a difference to the world from our little home.”
“Our lenses are made from TAC (Tri-Acetate-Cellulose) which is a cellulose based plastic. TAC is tough,
hard wearing and light weight. The material is made from plant derived cellulose and acetic acid (a
by-product of oil refining and also the main acidic component of vinegar, though in this case made
by fermentation). They biodegrade quicker than typical plastics, but we’re still working on
replacing them with more readily degrading mix.”
“Like all new self-funded businesses, we don’t have enough money to invest in a full workshop here in
Australia. Our sunglasses are designed in Australia and made in China. We spent 6 months speaking
to different factories and happily rested on our choice; a company that has FSC certification and also
produces excellent quality sunglasses for us. Some other sunglasses manufacturers use exotic
endangered woods but we decided to use only sustainable types of wood that are easily traceable as
we’d hate to contribute to any practices that might inadvertently damage endangered forests. We’re
working towards moving our production into Australia so we can further reduce the environmental
*Coral Tree is an affiliate partner of tortoise & lady grey. If you use the link in the post to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. The price is the same for you. This helps to support the cost of running this blog. I was also gifted one pair of sunglasses in exchange for this review. The other pair I chose to purchase myself. I only include brands that I believe in, and that meet the strictest requirements of ethics and sustainability. You can rest assured that the products featured here are a genuinely sustainable option.4