We are now at the end of September, did you take part in second hand September? In the UK, Oxfam (the Charity) launched a campaign to encourage people to not buy new clothes for 30 days. Why? It is to help raise awareness of the environmental impact that the fashion industry has on the planet. It is actually quite shocking just how much the fashion industry is damaging our planet. I am certainly guilty of having LOTS of clothes.

What has this got to do with eyewear I hear you ask? Well, I thought to myself, before I became an eyewear blogger, I was just an ordinary consumer with zero clue about eyewear. Every time I used to go in for an eye test, I was encouraged to buy new frames. It felt really wasteful to me, even back then. I was told my existing frame cannot be reglazed because they were too old (they were only 2 years old) and I was also told I might as well get a new frame because lenses are so expensive and by paying X amount more, I get a brand new frame.

From Vision Aid Overseas

Image from MGAM Vision Aid Overseas blog post

To me it felt like I was being pushed to buy new as reglazing my old frame was taken away from me as an option. It felt like the opticians were always really quick to make a sale by pushing me to buy a new frame. So, can your old or existing frame be reglazed? The answer is yes, However, I think the question is more like, is your frame in good enough condition to be reused?  Things to look for are, loose screws, loose hinges and broken or loose nose pads. If any of those things are not fit for purpose then it may be time to say bye to your frames. Most frames can last longer than 2 years and providing your prescription hasn’t changed drastically then you can reuse your existing frame.

There are also specialists out there who can recondition your old frame if you really love them that much and don’t want to let them go. Alternatively, is it time we take a step back and think about what materials we should buy. Not all acetate frames are bad news, it really depends on what components were used to make them. There are brands out there that offer 100% cotton fibre acetate frame that will decompose into the soil if you drop them.

Zeal Optics is the brand that offer this and I feel they are doing a pretty good job. Alternatively, you can buy frames that are made out of metal, wood or even bamboo. All these materials are easily recyclable in comparison to others.

My advice on this topic is Think, Be conscious, Be aware. The more aware we are, the more we can make different buying decisions. I for one are now buying FAR less clothes than before and I am aware of how many frames I have, I am moving towards metal frames more even though I have always been a die hard acetate girl.

Small changes from everyone will have a big impact. Think before you buy that dress, that shirt, that bag and that pair of glasses.