Manero

Wooden You Know

By: Joel Marino

We’d like to give props to whatever lumberjack went into a forest one day and thought, “I could totally make sunglass frames out of all this timber.” Because, seriously, wooden eyewear is the best thing to have happened to our faces in a long time.

Granted, the trend isn’t that new—specs encased in wood have been around since medieval times. But after metals and then plastics became the popular frames of choice, good old lumber was relegated back to the kindling heap. It’s just now that fashionistas around the world are rediscovering the possibilities of this light, biodegradable and just handsome-as-hell material.

Take the nature warriors at Chile’s Karün. These guys make the sexiest, sturdiest shades out there, all mostly out of fallen Patagonian trees. They even store their wares in woolen cases handwoven by native tribes. It’s part of their mission to make us look good without, you know, wreaking havoc on the planet.

In fact, environmental cred is one of the trendy shades’ major draws. Back in the states, Oregon-based Shwood hypes up their naturally sourced wood just as much as their products’ designs. And over in Idaho, family-owned Proof Eyewear proudly touts their sustainable materials as selling points for their retro, ’50s-inspired creations.

This is the rare trend that seeks to mix sexy, visually appealing aesthetics with a socially conscious message. We’re all for that, and we sincerely hope this is one fad that sticks around. Knock on wood.

Joel Marino is a NYC-based freelance writer and editor who enjoys traveling and saying “I told you so” as much as possible. When not writing, he spends his time on a never-ending quest to find the perfect empanada.