Before you get too excited, let me make one thing clear:
I've managed to find a total of three #Canadian companies who manufacture their #shades in-house. That being said, these three brands make incredible products that deserve to be on your radar - whether you're committed to buying products made in Canada or not.
Generally speaking, products made in Canada are of a high quality, and that's important when you're shopping for sunglasses. Although buying a pair every #summer from the gas station is certainly an option, there are those of us who want sunglasses we can rely on.
If you're looking to invest in a pair of shades that can potentially last you an entire lifetime, check out these three brands:
However, Loch Effects doesn't just use any wood to make their sunglasses. They use only #wood that has been reclaimed from the bottom of lakes and rivers in Canada. This lumber has been lying underwater for upwards of 500 years.
So why would you want to wear sunglasses made from this type of wood? Well, as any #lumber expert will tell you, wood actually begins to rot the longer it's exposed to light and oxygen. In the cold, dark, and oxygen-deprived confines of water, wood is preserved incredibly well.
It also becomes more beautiful as it absorbs the tannins and minerals found in the surrounding soil and water. Depending on various factors, the lumber can take on a distinctive shade of olive green, grey, or even gold.
Perhaps the most notable benefit of this wood in the context of sunglasses is the fact that it's extremely durable. Because Loch Effects uses old-growth #timber, the wood grains are extremely dense. Submerged wood is also apparently very hard, solidified by the process of being submerged and waterlogged for so long.
What this means is that Loch's sunglasses stand the test of time. Although other wooden sunglasses might be prone to cracking or breaking, the quality and durability of the wood used here means Loch shades are a lasting investment.
As far as style goes, wooden sunglasses are something of an acquired taste. They might not be for everyone, but the general aesthetic seems uniquely Canadian. For anyone who likes the #outdoors, earth-tones, or a down-to-earth vibe, these shades are a solid choice.
Loch Effects also deserves to be praised for their use of #sustainable, eco-friendly materials. No trees are being cut down to make these sunglasses. These sunken logs are at the bottom of lakes where no one can get them. Reclaiming them has zero impact on the #environment.
Their name might not be very imaginative, and the story behind this brand probably isn't as interesting as the aforementioned manufacturer.
Made on Prince Edward Island in a factory with a long history of eyewear creation, Canadian Sunglasses is all about the #vintage #aesthetic. The cool thing about these sunglasses is that they're not just trying to replicate the retro-cool styling of decades past. They are relics of those past years.
These sunglasses were actually made in 1988. The company basically found a surplus of these sunglasses and started selling them again. Some of their most in-demand shades include hand-crafted #leather detailing.
If you'd rather avoid using animal products, they also sell a "basic" model called "Rainbow Gold," pictured above. These sunglasses feature real #gold electroplating, which provides protection against corrosion and the elements.
There's also a range of lens colors to choose from, including reflective and solid variants.
At $200 each, these sunglasses are the probably the cheapest option if you want quality sunglasses made in Canada. In addition to their classic styling, this is one of the main reasons I'm grabbing a pair next summer.
Fellow Earthlings makes gorgeous #designer sunglasses in Canada. With a notable footprint in the fashion industry, these shades have enjoyed a lot of attention from mainstream media, including Fashion Magazine and the CBC.
They're actually produced in the same factory as the aforementioned Canadian Sunglasses - a small plant called "Tannereye." The two brands are under the same umbrella, and they rightly brag of returning a once thriving eyewear industry to #PEI.
In contrast to the vintage-focused brand Canadian Sunglasses, Fellow Earthling shades are produced today in small batches from cellulose acetate. You might think that's just another fancy word for plastic... Maybe it is. In any case, cellulose is unique in that it's one of the earliest forms of plastic, and it's made from cotton - not oil.
In addition, all of the cellulose acetate used by Fellow Earthlings is #recycled from would-be waste products. Again, there's very little impact on the environment with these sunglasses.
There are some amazing styles and silhouettes to choose from when you visit their site. You can even customize your own pair by picking the material, the frame shape, and the lens. There's a slightly higher price point for these shades, but that's to be expected with their small-batch approach.
So why is it important to buy sunglasses made in Canada?
Consider this: 75% of all designer frames are made by the same manufacturer. This includes big name brands like Ray-Ban and #Oakley.
At the end of the day, there's nothing special about these brands anymore. They're created alongside budget names by the same people using identical machinery.
This manufacturer is also located in #China. That means three quarters of all designer sunglasses are produced in a country with questionable labor laws, a reputation for poor working conditions, and a track record for human rights violations.
I get it. Cheaper sunglasses are hard to say no to. If you need to save money, I'm not going to judge you.
On the other hand, if you think you can do better and make a positive choice for #ethical manufacturing and #sustainability, consider the three brands I've mentioned here. Remember, quality craftsmanship means that you can rely on these shades for longer.
In the long run, you'll probably end up saving more money because you won't have to constantly replace sunglasses of a continuously plummeting quality.
It's definitely something to consider.