How to make more Sustainable Eyewear choices with Retro Spectacle
One thing I’ve always wanted to find out more about is sustainable eyewear. So one of the first things people notice about me is my glasses – they are right there on my face. I’ve always worn glasses, it’s one of my main features and can make or break an outfit. I’ve tried contact lenses but my face just doesn’t look right, I just love wearing glasses.
The same as clothing, the styles of glasses change over time. You won’t wear the same pair of glasses forever – even if they are long lasting and good quality. Your fashion sense changes as you grow up. But the same as clothing, glasses fashion is becoming more circular, with styles of the past coming back into fashion again.
That is when I discovered Retro Spectacle, they take vintage, second hand and deadstock glasses frames – refurbish them if needed and then fit them with new prescription or sunglasses lenses. They have so many beautiful styles, and some really unique quirky frames, it really is the answer to sustainable eyewear.
I caught up with Charlotte from Retro Spectacle to find out more about the brand and its sustainable practices:
Tell me a bit about your background?
I am a qualified optician and have been in the industry for over 12 years. I have worked in high street stores & independent practices, which has given me a wealth of knowledge and experience
What made you want to start Retro Spectacle?
A trip to Amsterdam, sat by the canal having a beer I said the dreaded words “I’ve had a an idea”. Twenty minutes later the URL was purchased and Retro Spectacle was born. That was back in 2016 and now in 2020 the business has grown and I have been able to commit myself full time to Retro Spectacle.
How important is sustainability to you and your brand?
Sustainability is a massive part of our brand. Fast fashion exists within the eyewear sector and this is something that needs to be acknowledged, more so than just creating an “Eco” range. Eyesight is precious as are the glasses that aid it. I feel that that ethos has been lost in translation over the years. People are encouraged to “buy one get one free” and many mass produced frames are poor quality not designed to last. Vintage frames were built to stand the test of time. Many of the frames were hand made by craftsmen in the UK and Europe. Vintage stock has already created a carbon footprint so why not make the most of stylish, high quality frames! Most of our stock is ‘new old stock’ but we also up-cycle frames, refurbishing and giving them a new lease of life.
Where do you source your glasses from?
I have sourced glasses from all over the world, there are no rules when finding vintage stock and it’s impossible to know if or when you maybe able to acquire the same frame again. This makes every frame even more special and desirable.
Do you think that circular fashion trends play a big part in your business?
Yes absolutely, who would have thought Deirdre Barlow frames would come back to be the height of fashion. The vast majority of frames you see on the high street today (and from large global brands) take inspiration, (in some cases to the nth degree) from the past, we’re just lucky enough to have the originals.
What style of frames have been most popular? A surprise seller?
Gucci 2106 has been a popular model. We have a few colours and sizes available and due to the oversized shape of the frames it doubles great as glasses or sunglasses.
For the guys the Elite Maurice is a winner. Strong and distinctive and very durable vintage frames.
Which are your favourite Frames?Crikey, that is a tough one. I have had so many frames come and go.
Emilio Pucci is an astonishing rare vintage frame. A Pucci family member actually got in touch about the frame, which was amazing.
Zoe by Brulimar is a fabulous 80’s style
Finally, I’d have to say Aviator’s in general can look great on men and women, evidenced by our super gorgeous customer Jo sporting the Carrera 5321’s.
Charlotte gifted me these frames, luckily I was able to try on a few different styles before lockdown, and it was a really hard choice! Overall I think that as glasses are a necessity for me, so the most sustainable eyewear choice is Retro Spectacle.
Retrospectacle have given readers of Ruby Rose Sews an exclusive 15% discount code just add RETRORUBY at the Checkout!
If you haven’t already…head over to Retro Spectacle and take a look.
If you enjoyed this, please subscribe to my blog , you’ll then get not so regular updates from me. It really helps me create great content; I can’t do it without your support
Thanks for reading