Sustainable, natural and award-winning: Rolf Spectacles’ Substance

The eco-friendly Substance collection by Rolf Spectacles has won the prestigious EUROPEAN GREEN AWARD Gold Trophy

With its consistent leaning toward sustainable design and 100% natural materials including wood, buffalo horn and stone since its creation in 2009, and a hugely endearing, intuitive ‘slow fashion’ philosophy built on time-honored handcrafting techniques and artisan design, Rolf Spectacles has quietly achieved numerous awards and accolades for its elegant, timeless frame design. Their most recent  – the EUROPEAN GREEN AWARD Gold Trophy, is perhaps the culmination of their journey in eyewear and how much they have achieved so far – in a landscape where questions over sustainable “authenticity” and transparency in fashion and eyewear have become increasingly relevant.

Sustainable eyewear by ROLF Spectacles – the substance collection is plant-based

Their winning entry – the Substance collection – launched in 2020 – is plant based and eco-friendly, produced locally in Austria in an environmentally respectful way from a raw material – beans from the Euphorbiaceae family – that regrow quickly and easily. Created with minimum waste 3D printing technology, these contemporary frames are also free from screws and other parts thanks to the brand’s signature Flexlock hinge. This technical detail – a feature in other collections by Rolf – ensures the frames have qualities of robustness, durability and easy maintenance as well as delivering on design. The hinge can also be printed at the same time as the frame using 3D printing technology, meaning Rolf can make its new glasses all in one go – keeping the number of external suppliers to a minimum. In addition to the high performance of the screwless and patent-pending Flexlock hinge, glasses wearers benefit from the flexible, natural, skin-friendly properties of the plant-based frame.

In powdered form, not only does the natural material of the Substance collection meet all technical requirements, it boasts impressive sustainability credentials – down to the last detail. The plants are grown in tropical climates without any kind of genetic engineering; they don’t compete with food crops; and they can grow very tall at speed.

OGI Eyewear
ROLF Spectacles
VAVA Eyewear
Details of the eco-friendly “bean” frames which have a soft finish that is very comfortable on the skin

The Rolf team told Eyestylist that they expect this collection to have increasing success in their local markets such as Austria, Germany and Switzerland, where consumers have a strong and increasing interest in and desire to buy sustainable products that are traceable and natural as well as produced locally in an environmentally friendly way.

The EUROPEAN GREEN AWARD (an initiative by the European Institute of Applied Sustainability) brings national and international recognition for special sustainable achievements of companies as well as individuals and honors – via an international jury of experts  – green products, projects, events, hotels, marketing and change makers who have done excellent work for sustainable development in Europe. Find out more about the award-winning Substance collection at This article was written by Clodagh Norton – all rights reserved.