Been to your local Sunglasses Hut lately? See anything truly revolutionary, or unique? Or do you see the exact same pairs of Oakley and cheap plastic sunglasses at every Sunglasses Hut across the globe…because I do. The cosmetic design of sunglasses is ever changing, with endless colors, shapes, and sizes hitting the markets constantly. And yet the big companies, like Oakley and Ray Bans, being the two largest and most successful sunglasses companies in the world, have surprisingly done little to nothing in terms of actually changing the sunglasses game. These companies are the equivalent of big dinosaurs, who got really rich by creating an incredible and inventive inventory of sunglasses (for their time), and they started making a lot of money and dominating markets – so much so, that they no longer had to revolutionize their product or innovate unique new designs. They became complacent, and now the people want more, but without adaptation and change, they will become extinct. There is a fundamental issue in the sunglasses industry that is little known: over 80% of the world’s sunglasses are manufactured by the same company – Luxottica.
Luxottica is an Italian eye-wear company that manufactures the sunglasses that Oakley and Ray Ban then brand and sell for hundreds of dollars. It also owns many distribution sunglasses chains, including Sunglasses Hut. It’s really no wonder that these companies haven’t revolutionized style when they are actually purchasing all of their product from a monolithic corporation whose top priority is to make money, not revolutionize the industry. When it comes to big bureaucratic companies, innovation is volatile (or potentially unprofitable), tradition is safe (and typically profitable).
There is so much innovation in sunglasses these days as people break the mold and experiment with anything from materials to functions and purpose, and all the while still revolutionizing style and keeping costs lower or competitive with the Big O and the forever cool Ray Ban. Watch out Sunglasses Hut and Luxottica you big, fat, global, faceless corporation; there are some new cool kids on the block. Below are only 6 out of the plethora of cool new sunglasses companies emerging today:
Ever seen the William Painter brand at your Sunglasses Hut? Probably not, and that’s because they are a small start up, but they make a fantastic product, at a price point that Sunglasses Hut doesn’t want to compete with. William Painter makes sunglasses focused around durability and quality. Their biggest seller, the Hook, makes use of rear weighted titanium frames and hinges, making them both comfortable and essentially indestructible. They even include a bottle opener cut out on the arms of the sunglasses to back up their claim to durability. And the titanium frames aren’t the only quality pieces in the glasses; the lenses are a super lightweight, patented hydrophobic nylon polarized lens, giving you crystal clear vision. I actually own a pair of these myself and I can vouch for their quality. Best pair of glasses I ever bought, and on the plus side, they come with a lifetime warranty.
These hemp sunglasses may not add any extra functionality to your sunglasses, but that is not their goal; at Hemp Eyewear, they strive to use sustainable resources to produce a high quality, fashion forward product. Hemp is one of the most easily grown and versatile crops on the planet, yet it is hardly used. Aside from looking incredibly stylish in hemp sunglasses, you are also supporting the development of a sustainable, earth friendly product, and hopefully putting some pressure on the major sunglasses manufacturers to innovate and adopt sustainable manufacturing.