Zeal Optics has developed a range of sunglasses which combine waste plastics and unwanted grasses to create a material the firm says offers its lowest carbon footprint frame to date.

See Grass frames are made from a material Zeal has developed by working with plastic recyclers, biogas harvesters and farmers utilising materials that would otherwise be waste or landfill.

Mike Lewis, Zeal’s director of marketing said the firm had always put sustainability, recycling and lifestyle choice at the heart of its ethos and product offering. He said Zeal was well known for its castor oil-based frames and lenses as well as for seeking to reduce waste and environmental impact wherever possible. ‘We are constantly looking at reducing our carbon footprint and every aspect of the business is being constantly revised,’ he said.

See Grass frame material utilises true grasses, the waste fibres left during the cultivation of hemp, flax, rice and straw and combines them with recycled plastics. The production process uses methane tapped from landfill sites to further reduce the environmental impact.

Lewis said by adding waste grasses to plastics the material is stronger and more tactile. ‘It’s like adding Rebar (reinforcing bars), It’s very lightweight but incredibly durable.’ He also said the nature of the process means each piece of material is unique. ‘It’s a very cool material; it’s soft and you can see the grasses in it.’

The collection offers two shapes: the masculine and square Divide and the softer Aspen. Both follow four colourways teamed with complementary lenses. The dusky pink Smolder and Black Grain are teamed with the a dark grey lens, the green Pine frames utilise a copper lens while the Midnight blue frame is paired with Zeal’s Horizon blue lens. All of the lenses are polarised and manufactured in Zeal’s Ellume plant-based material. All See Grass styles will accept prescription lenses.

zealoptics.com