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Sustainable Eyewear – Koalaty and Vilo Wooden

In the realm of eyewear, it is interesting to witness a deliberate move away from the use of crude oil and plastic towards using more eco-friendly and sustainable materials, with wood and specifically bamboo being highly renewable resources and ones that lend themselves well not merely because of their versatility when it comes to shaping an designing them, but also in terms of its qualities to enhance looks in the style departments.

The fact that both source materials have a unique feel to it due to their texture and their distinct patterns paired with being lightweight yet sturdy and thereby comfortable to wear, only adds to the appeal.

What I learned to love about bamboo glasses is the fact that due to the nature of the material they are bound to be handmade starting with the curation of the evergreen perennial flowering plant, via the cutting to the final stage of moulding.

A local company that not only recently delved into the crafting of robust bamboo sunglasses but put emphasis on paying homage to their Australian heritage is Koalaty – who does not like a good ole pun?

Having had its focus set on partnering with conservation organisations to protect local landscapes since its inception in 2019, the team behind Koalaty has channelled their love for the outdoors in the creation of uniquely and meticulously, hand-drawn designed quality shades the production of which enacts a positive impact on the wider world around us.

Given the aforementioned, Koalaty is obviously a telling name and their attention to detail does not merely stop with the polarised sunglasses, but extends to the accompanying durable bamboo cases, travel pouches, etc. thereby making their glasses a fun and stylish accessoire that proves to be particularly suitable for adventurous outdoor activities.

Inspired by a lack of progress in the realm of sunglass design and frustrated by the dominance of lacklustre plastic frames, Vilo Wooden is a family based business that started to venture into using wood as a source material to allow them to underline and substantiate their idiosyncratic designs with the innate warmth of timbered source material.

Taking distinctness and the creation of a sense of individuality to the next level, each model is unique and intentionally crafted in a manner as a one-of-a-kind piece of art that will never be repeated. The fact that a tangible connection to nature comes as part of the package only adds to the appeal.

Vilo Wooden’s sunglasses do not lack an iota of stylishness as they use laminated wood, allowing them to design nimble yet sturdy frames that come with all the trimmings of elegant top-shelf sunglasses, including high clarity lenses made from cellulose plants, sun protection of UV400 filtering and polarised lenses.

I specifically like Vilo Wooden’s classic shade designs – think shapes reminiscent of the unconquered wayfarer frame with accentuated wood highlights, which are not only distinguished statement pieces but fit perfectly due to their spring loaded hinges to accommodate no matter size one prefers.

Same goes for Vilo Wooden’s optical frames, which accommodate both prescription and bluelight filter lenses, all of which come with a custom laser-engraved eco-friendly bamboo case for safe storage and making each purchase feel good with 10% of all proceeds being donated to A21, an organisation dedication to the elimination of slavery and human trafficking.


T • April 4, 2022

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