Suns out, sustainable sunglasses out… 

This week, we’re talking all things sustainable and ethical sunglasses with CoGo listed, Pala Eyewear.  


Let’s face it, sunglasses are a summer essential. When the sun is eventually out. It’s become a normal part of our style choices, but it’s important for us not to forget that shades hold a more important purpose in protecting our eyes from the sun… 

Overexposure to UV rays is a serious issue over time. Not only can it cause skin cancer, but it can also significantly affect our eyes. The World Health Organisation states that 65 million people suffer from cataracts and up to 20 percent of them may be caused by overexposure to UV radiation, and are therefore avoidable. This is especially prevalent for people living in developing countries where there may not be the infrastructure, awareness or accessibility needed for good eye health.

In addition, it’s also important to rewind and remember that before we even talk about sunglasses, having access to eyecare , in‌ ‌general, is not a given too. Here in the U.K., we’re lucky to be able to simply pop down to our local optician for a check-up and have our much loved NHS on hand should we need any additional care. Outside of the U.K., this is by far a luxury which is stressed in the shocking stat that, today, 640 million people are unable to access eyecare. 

We’re sure all glasses-wearers out there will appreciate how much their spectacles mean to them in the moment of sheer panic when they can’t be located. So, think about how not having access to glasses and thus eye care at all would affect your daily life? Would you even be able to go about your day to day or perhaps go to work? 

This is the reality of the 640 million people in the world who are unable to access eye care. We take for granted that for most people, glasses are an invaluable economic tool. In particular, for children, they enable reading, learning, and access to better education and thus future. 

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This global issue is why John Pritchard set up CoGo listed, Pala Eyewear: 

‘Realising the way a person can be empowered with something as simple as the right spectacles, whether through education and the ability to see the page they are reading, or allowing them to work in industries where poor eyesight is either a barrier or just plain dangerous, made this a simple choice. I began the process of building an eyewear brand around this central purpose and after many months, Pala was born’  

Pala Eyewear is the ethical sunglasses brand that gives back, donating a pair of spectacles to those in need through African vision centres with every pair of sunnies sold. Their aim is to put people and the planet first in their sustainable production with the following three pillars that are at the core of their business:   

1. Restoring Vision

  • For every pair of sunglasses sold, Pala gives back to eye-care programmes in Africa by providing grants to vision centres, dispensaries and screening 

 2. Empowering Communities 

  • Pala works alongside a Ghananain-based NGO to support weaving communities to make protective sunglasses cases woven from otherwise wasted plastic. They provide a trade and an income to help these communities empower themselves whilst upholding tradition (and recycling as they go)

3. Sustainable Design 

  • Pala understands sustainability as an ever evolving journey. This seasons they are continuing to innovate, offering both recycled acetate (made using otherwise binned factory offcuts) and bio-based designs 

Found out more information about Pala Eyewear’s sustainability and ethics journey over on the CoGo app, here