In the market for some new sunglasses? These Irish brands will sort you out.
Summer is in full swing… but my sunglasses are nowhere to be seen. Probably buried under a pile of clothes and other accessories at the bottom of my wardrobe, they’ve most definitely been scratched to within an inch of their life by this point.
I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who invests in one really good pair and then guards them with their life, but I’m far too haphazard for that. Most sunnies I’ve owned rarely extend beyond a few months – a combination of poor craftsmanship and my own indifference – but the annual trawl through the “new in” pages is cumbersome and it’s exhausting trying to find frames I like year after year.
Not only is it expensive, but it’s also wasteful too, so this year I’ll be digging out my old, beaten sunglasses or buying from an Irish brand instead.
Below are five Irish sunglasses brands we love.
A very impressive Irish brand with a very impressive message, Crann sunglasses are some of the most sustainable on the market. Set up back in 2018 by Meath man, Eoin McGuinness, he’s a firm believer that the world doesn’t need more products, but rather better solutions to existing problems and thus his line of eco-friendly sunglasses came to be.
Hoping to help combat the 92 million tonnes of rubbish generated by the fashion industry each year (4% of the world’s total annual waste), all Crann products are 100% made with recycled and sustainable materials – ranging from stainless steel to PE plastic and wood that would have ended up in landfill or the ocean.
And in the interest of sustainability and protecting its namesake, Crann (the Irish word for ‘tree’) even donates a percentage of every sale to The Native Woodland, an organisation that helps to rebuild damaged ecosystems.
Designed and made in Ireland, Wolfhound Eyewear products are inspired by the local landscape, as well as our country’s rich history, literature, heritage and culture. In other words, their frames are distinctly Irish.
Co-founded by husband and wife team, Deirdre and Donal McNally, their designs are stocked exclusively at their independent boutique, Optica, on Dublin’s Dawson Street. Experts in eyewear, they’ve been providing high-quality, high-design glasses to customers for close to three decades now – making them one of the city’s longest-established opticians.
Sharp, contemporary and plenty of fun, Wolfhound Eyewear sits comfortably alongside a range of other international eyewear brands on their shelves.
Specialists in blue-light-blocking glasses, Ambr Eyewear have become a staple for the digital community – myself included. The brainchild of Sacha Cahill and Dan Nugent, the idea was born from their own experience of staring at a screen all day.
Plagued by incessant headaches and insomnia from long hours in front of a computer, they decided to create their own line of eyewear to tackle the problem… and they’re incredibly chic, unlike the “weird post-apocalyptic orange-tinted monstrosities” that were the only other options available at the time.
Also branching out into sunglasses, every pair includes scratch-resistant, hydrophobic, polarised lenses that block 100 per cent of UVA and UVB rays.
Dead Fresh Original
Dead Fresh first hit local markets around Ireland in the summer of 2017 with the sole purpose of bringing high-quality frames and lenses at half the price. With roots in the hills and a foothold in the streets, their name is a pretty good indication of what they endeavour to do… i.e. make Ireland dead fresh and original.
Stocking a range of premium, polarised shades made from cotton-based acetate, wood and stainless steel, they have several different styles and frames to choose from. Their website is currently undergoing maintenance but don’t let that deter you as you can still browse their inventory and keep up to date with goings-on via their social media pages.
Still a relatively new business, Raw Roots started when founder Yvonne decided to put her design skills to the test to deliver one of a kind designs that challenge the conventions of modern-day eyewear shapes. Favouring wood over more basic plastic creations, she found that existing products in this material were all very samey – most other brands were serving up the same templates to customers who clearly longed for something more original.
Knowing that eyewear has long moved on from the days of only just correcting one’s sight, all Raw Roots designs are handmade with personality in mind, thereby allowing for more creative expression than those of competitors.
Design is at the heart of what drives the company, but the environment also plays an important part in shaping their ethos and Raw Roots has also committed to planting 10 trees for every one sale through their partnership with Trees for the Future – an organisation that ensures people in Sub Saharan Africa have a sustainable food source and the ability to provide food to their livestock/fuel for their fires.