Why We Chose It: Stylish, high-quality, truly sustainable
These days, the word ‘sunglasses’ is a bit of a misnomer, since 99% of modern sunglasses – especially those primarily intended for sports and outdoor use – contain no glass at all. Instead, the lenses are usually made of a polycarbonate composite, i.e. plastic. This includes sunnies from many so-called sustainable brands that use recycled or renewable materials to make their frames. However, recycled polycarbonate lenses do not exist, and the process of manufacturing lenses also produces microplastics when the raw material is cut to shape.
Waterhaul is different. The brand was established in 2018 by founder Harry Dennis, who was working as a marine scientist for a charity project engaging community action on plastic pollution. He was astounded by the volume of ‘ghost gear’ that the project collected – washed up trawler nets and other plastic waste from the fishing industry. Dennis came up with a method of manufacturing sunglasses frames from 100% recycled fishing net, ensuring that they consume absolutely zero virgin plastic.
“They use sustainable packaging too.”
But that still left the problem of lenses. Dennis did not want to use polycarbonate. So, he turned to Italian manufacturer Barberini, who are highly regarded for their premium polarised glass lenses. Not only did this get around the plastic problem, it also guaranteed better optical quality, since mineral glass has by far the greatest optical clarity of all lens materials, with an Abbe value of 59 (vs. 32 for polycarbonate). In addition, the chemically hardened polarised glass is substantially more scratch resistant than other lenses, meaning that Watehaul’s sunglasses are far better equipped to handle sand, saltwater and all those other things that come with coastal life.
What Are The Waterhaul Crantock Sunglasses Best Suited To?
These are shades designed for ocean adventures. The Crantock frame is a versatile circular/panto style with unisex appeal that works best for medium sized faces. We think they look great, with a matte slate grey finish that complements almost any outfit. And even if you’re not a surfer, a diver or a swimmer, these are shades that are perfectly suited to other kinds of outdoor life, from woodland walks to mountain missions.
Waterhaul is a social enterprise, and concern for the environment is the very reason that the brand exists. So, all the company’s sunglasses are made from 0% virgin plastics, instead utilising 100% recycled polypropylene nets and lines, which are the most abundant form of ‘ghost gear’ found on our shores. Pulling plastic out of the ocean and turning it into stylish sunnies is pretty cool. Recycled polymer also has just 15% of the CO2 footprint of virgin polymers.