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Article: Let's Talk About The Environment and Randolph Sunglasses

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Let's Talk About The Environment and Randolph Sunglasses

The Environment

In today's world a lot of people are concerned about the environment, and so are we.

Am I convinced the world will end in 12 years? Not at all.

But, there is no doubt that we need to do a better job of keeping our environment clean.

We need to eliminate all "throw away" products people seem to love.

As you stroll down the aisle of your favorite drug store or mega store the aisles are full of cheap sunglasses, most of which have a lot of plastic in them.

Because they are cheap many are lost, dropped or simply thrown away in favor of a new pair of cheap sunglasses that look "cool".

So, how does the manufacturing and disposal of these sunglasses impact our environment?

Sunglass Frame Materials

Sunglass frames are made with several different materials, each of which has an impact on the environment.

Let's take a quick look of these materials and how they impact our world.


Plastic frames have a number of drawbacks.

They are easier to break than metal frames, they will burn (but are not easily ignited), aging and exposure to sunlight decrease their strength slightly.

Plastic pollution causes harm to humans, animals and plants through toxic pollutants.

It can take hundreds or even thousands of years for plastic to break down so the environmental damage is long-lasting.

Most plastic sunglasses are not kept for a long time because sunlight can damage them, they break easily and the get lost easily because they are inexpensive.

Please dispose of plastic sunglasses by researching the best way to dispose of them.

Cellulose Acetate

Some manufacturers also use cellulose acetate propionate, a nylon-based plastic that is hypoallergenic. 

Unlike most typical synthetic plastics, those made with cellulose acetate break down after use into cellulose and acetic acid by the action of water in the natural environment.

These materials eventually return to the environment with no adverse impact.

Sunglasses like the AO Saratoga sunglasses fit in this category and are safe for the environment.


Nylon is also a premier material for sports and performance frames, typically made of gliamides materials that are very resistant to hot and cold.

Nylon also is easily molded into today's popular wraparound styles, as well as other shapes that are difficult to produce.

Compared to other plastic-based fibres, manufacturing and processing of nylon is energy-intensive, which causes emission of greenhouse gases leading to global warming.

Moreover, the process releases nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and which depletes the ozone layer.

Nylon lenses have become very popular because of the lightweight and good optical performance.

I would recommend staying away from nylon frames, but just be aware of the problems with nylon if you need to replace some nylon lenses.

Find out the best way to dispose of damage nylon lenses.


Monel is a mixture of any of a broad range of metals — is the most widely used material in the manufacture of eyeglass frames.

Its malleability and corrosion resistance are pluses.

Titanium and beta-titanium are also popular materials for eyeglass frames.

Titanium is a silver-gray metal that's lightweight, durable, strong and corrosion-resistant.

Beryllium, a steel-gray metal, is a lower-cost alternative to titanium eyewear.

Think of the Environment when purchasing sunglasses

One of the interesting things about being in this business for more than 20 years is that I have spent a lot of time thinking and learning as much as I can about sunglasses.

My first real exposure to quality sunglasses came during my years in the USAF. That's when I bought my first pair of aviator sunglasses: AO Original Pilots.

I still have them today.

Used AO Original Pilot sunglasses from the 60s

Just imagine, they are 57+ years old!

A little bent and showing some wear and tear, but still functional!

If they were platic they would still be in the landfill and not deteriorating at all!

Randolph Sunglass Frame Materials

This is why I love Randolph Aviators and am so passionate about them.

Randolph scours the world for the finest metal alloys with tight molecular structure to prevent rust and oxidation.

Randolph sunglass frames are made from a nickel silver alloy called monel. 

The biggest environmental issue with metal is the harm done to the environment from digging it out of the earth and the process of converting metal from a raw material to a finished product.

Overtime, the processing of metals have an impact on the environment both from disturbing the earth and the emissions generated converting them into the finished product.

It is for that reason that Randolph Sunglass frames are manufactured with nickel silver alloy and soldered with a 56% silver filled flux for durability, strength and integrity.

As a result a well cared for Randolph metal frame will last a long time.

In fact, since the founding of Randolph Engineering 48 years ago many of their sunglasses are still around and going strong.

Which is why I sell replacement parts for Randolph sunglasses to this day!

So, while mining and processing metal does have an impact on the environment, the fact that their frames last more than 48 years means less envionmental impact than other materials used in sunglass frames.

Keep Your Eyes Safe My Friends

Be sure and visit our website and look through all of the great sunglasses we offer, some of which are sure to please you.

JetAviator7 of where the best aviator sunglasses in the world can be found.

John M White a/k/a JetAviator7 signature on blog

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