A Greener Shade of Sunglasses

Smith Optics is touting its new Evolve line of sunglasses for 2010—the frames are made with 53% bio-plastic. Smith has a range of green tech in other products as well, including goggles and helmets. It's a significant improvement over most existing optics technology, but still not 100% green. Here are the details.

Evolve SunglassesThe frames on these are made from Rilsan® Clear plastic; 53% of which comes from castor plants (non-GMO of course). (The castor oil plant, also known as the castor bean, is grown widely in tropical regions and produces a seed with a high percentage of natural oils.)

The sunglass lenses are still polycarbonate plastic for the most part, though a glass version is also available (dubbed theirs Carbonic TLT and Techlite TLT, respectively). More than 20 styles are available in the Evolve line, including such Smith mainstays as the Toaster Slider (pictured) and Hideout.

Evolve Goggles and Helmets Smith has been using some green tech in its goggles since 2008, including the use of reground urethane and a material called Merquinsa's Pearlthane ECO bio-TPU, which is composed of 40% "bio-based material separate from the world's food supply." (Read all their Evolve marketing tech here.) Three Evolve goggles are currently available.

In its helmets, Smith uses an Evolve X-Static fabric lining, which is a great, nearly 100% recycled material. Only accounts for a small fraction of the helmet, however. Three Evolve helmets are available.

Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.