Bamboo and Wood - What we use and why

Bamboo sunglasses being hand crafted

Types of Bamboo and Wood used in our Glasses

Let’s talk base bamboo and wood glasses. SunFly uses a variety of styles in design and manufacture of our sunglasses. Bamboo is the primary element in construction of our sunglasses, but we also like to make use of other eco-friendly wood materials. We’ll touch on them below and why we considered and or like each of the variety of styles. We use sustainable materials and our manufacturers source from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council – Forests for all forever) compliance –an assurance that the product utilized are made from wood from responsible sources.

FSC – works to take care of our forests and those who rely on them: by protecting plant and animal species, indigenous peoples rights, forest workers’ safety, and much more. You can read more about FSC and what they do and how they do it at their website: FSC

Hand Crafted

SunFly bamboo sunglasses being hand sanded

Our bamboo and wood sunglasses are hand crafted with a very high quality and meticulous attention to detail, unlike traditional plastic or metal sunglasses. No, they’re no whittled down with a Swiss army knife from a giant Canadian maple tree, but through the use of small hand tools used in meticulously crafting each of the pieces – from the frames, to the veneer to the cutting and sanding. All of this work done manually. What this provides is premium craftsmanship and exquisite detailing with a cool vintage vibe on the wooden sunglasses. We will go into detail on the hand manufacturing process of our shades in a future post as it is quite interesting.

Variety of Wood Sunglass Styles

SunFly walnut wood planks sitting on flooring

SunFly offers a variety of designs and styles ranging from the types of wood used – bamboo, wenge, walnut, zebra, beech and others to a variety of frame shapes and lens colors. Some characteristics are consistent across all of our sunglasses because we believe they are important in holding, not only to a standard of quality and consumer expectation, but believe they are more beneficial than some of the alternatives. Mainly use of quality double-spring hinges and polarized lenses. Each has very important factors in ensuring both a high quality and reliable / safe product for our customers.

We got WOOD!  GRASS!

Bamboo is a plant and not a tree and not considered a wood although bamboo and bamboo products, such as our bamboo glasses can appear similar to finished wooden glasses. Bamboo is the single largest material utilized in our collections for full frames and arms.  We utilize it for a variety of reasons.

  • Eco-friendly – can be recycled or organically broken down. No additional waste to the planet
  • Sustainable - some bamboo species can regenerate at 24 inches per day!
  • Easily harvested – bamboo shoots are easily harvested
  • Super light – ideal for glasses to take additional burdened weight off of the ears and nose. Makes for a more comfortable experience. Bamboo glasses can weigh up to 50% less than more traditional metal or plastic sunglasses, and result in a better experience.
  • Strong like OX! – We mean it! Bamboo is incredibly durable and can result in overall longer life for your sunglasses than more traditional material (plastic /metal) sunglasses. Bamboo has higher specific compression strength than wood, brick or concrete and a tensile strength that rivals steel! Now don’t you want to go ahead a build yourself a nice bamboo house? Don’t believe us? Try a pair of bamboo sunglasses out. We offer a 365 full warranty and reduced 2 year warranty coverage.
  • They FLOAT! YES! – That’s a pretty big deal to us. We’ve lost numerous pairs of sunglasses swimming in the lakes; paddle boarding in the lake; fishing in the lake. Plastic sinks, metal sinks and that just stinks. (yeah I know that’s weak) Not only is that bad for the fresh water lakes and our oceans (there is enough junk in them now), but it’s a real bummer to lose a pair of new shades; especially if they were an expensive pair.  We’ve solved your problem since our bamboo sunglasses float. They won’t swim, so don’t let them get to far away from you, but they will keep on floating. Floating around the lake; hmm sounds like a nice day to us. Keep in mind that blended bamboo and acetate frames will not float. The heavier frame material will drag down the glasses unfortunately.
    • Check out this video of our glasses floating out in the lake and see for yourself

Ok now we’ve GOT WOOD!

Although the majority of our products are bamboo based, we do offer a few alternative options. We’ve designed and selected a few other wood styles that have unique characteristics and qualities about them.

Zebra wood

This is one of our favorites. The wood has a unique look that resembles that of a (surprise!) zebra, which is where the name derives – we’ll that makes sense. This style will definitely give you that wood styled look and flare. We used this with our clear sunglass frames to give them a modern – almost retro-future feel – while maintaining a bit of old time elegance. You’ll be a rock-star at the beach with these.

Walnut

Our walnut wood sunglasses (link here) are 100% walnut. This is most expensive pair we sell, due to the high cost of the walnut and some of the challenges in working with this wood when manufacturing eye wear. We are always working on our cost efficiency to try to reduce the costs to our customers so we hope to be able to do so with our walnut wood glasses. They are also are most elegant looking and pair perfectly with beach attire (Ya beach day) or with more formal dress.  The walnut is a straight-grained hardwood that has a range of colors from brown to yellow. Our glasses feature the brown walnut color with a smooth sleek finish. Like a piece of finely crafted furniture. The walnut wood sunglasses are strong (yes like an OX!) and stable and are ideal for intricate hand wood work such as fastening our premium hinges and screws. They hold the lenses in place very securely so there is no concern of the lens popping out.  

Recycled Canadian Maple Wood

Not just any maple wood, but recycled skateboard decks. (insert link) Not only do these look really cool, but they are incredible sturdy, eco-friendly and as with all of our wood sunglasses recyclable. Pretty cool to think you may have a pair of wooden sunglasses that have completed a Tony Hawk 720 spin! We specifically selected this material due to the opportunity to use a recyclable material vs a first use material. It’s both good for the environment and is a really unique feature for a pair of wooden sunglasses. Strong, durable and Canadian, what more could you possibly want?

Life’s a Beech

Beech wood has a very similar look to bamboo but appears as a smooth light cream color. The Grain pattern is straight, with a fine to medium uniform texture with moderate natural luster. They provide a nice subtle look, so you know you have some stylish wood glasses on without being attention grabbers. Beech wood is strong which provides the customer with a pair of durable wood sunglasses for years to come. This wood really is the quiet superstar of all our wood selections.

Wenge Wood

Wenge wood is an African wood with has typically straight grains and course textures. We really love this wood for its appealing visual characteristics. It can have many ‘pits’ with no particular arrangement which gives it a uniquely distinct look; especially on a pair of wood sunglasses. Of all the woods, this is the wood that looks and feels like wood. That’s great – wood that is well…wood. If you want a pair of wood sunglasses that look like wooden sunglasses then this is the pair you wood (pun intended)  want.

Jay