3-D printed bio-based sunglasses
Being a young and admittedly unseasoned fashion journalist – prior to working with Eyestylist, I had made my assumptions about the obvious rising ‘trend’ of environmentally friendly products across every aspect of the fashion industry. Be it in manufacturing, labour, materials – the emphasis and importance on where, why and how our clothing and accessories are made has never been so highlighted by the consumer and by the world. That being said, my expectations for ‘sustainable eyewear’ brands were minimal – if any. Sustainability and environmentalism within fashion has been an interest and niche of my own for a few years now and even so the number of sustainable eyewear brands releasing on the market came as a complete surprise – a very pleasant one at that.
neubau is known by most as the creative epicentre of Austria’s capital – similarly, with the 100% bio-based line of optical and sunglass frames ‘neubau’ eyewear – the independent lifestyle eyewear brand could very well be at the creative epicentre of progress in the sustainable eyewear segment. Their range is diverse – with anything from a minimal optical frame to a statement sunglass available.
neubau sent me the Maurice frames from their three-piece special edition collection; the other two styles are Romy and Alain. The Maurice style comes in evergreen matte/graphite or black coal matte/graphite frame/lens – I have the evergreen frame / amber lens and that particular colour pairing is beautifully different and eye-catching. The amber lenses are light on the eyes but succeed in blocking out harsh rays just as well as a black or dark grey lens – it must be noted that the lens production is equally technical in it’s own right; made of polycarbonate and providing 100% UVA/UVB UV400 protection – the optical clarity is flawless. The frame shape is sporty, sleek and lightweight with no compromise on comfort or durability. These particular sunglasses are made using neubau’s natural3D process – with an entirely natural material in a 3D printer. The material used is an oil extracted from castor oil plant seeds layered repeatedly with any excess material being made into other frames – ‘innovative’ does not do this completely circular, scientific and almost magical process justice. On top of the modern aesthetic, scientific facts and the physicality of the frame, the natural origins of the material means that the surface is basically pore-less and sits comfortably on the skin.
For further details and deeper insights into how neubau works I also thoroughly enjoyed the neubau blog, where enthralling stories, product details and updates on their See & Do Good initiative make for an engaging and informative read and explain how the sustainable focus is at the heart of this stunning collection and in neubau’s evolving story. Website and blog at www.neubau-eyewear.com A review by Victoria G. L. Brunton