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I was browsing around the internet for wood eyeglass frames the other day and stumbled upon Proof Eyewear. They offer high-quality eyewear that is handcrafted from sustainable materials which include wood, cotton-based acetate, recycled aluminum, and repurposed skateboard decks.
Founded in 2010 by three brothers in Idaho, today Proof Eyewear has a flagship store in downtown Boise and is sold in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Proof Eyewear Review
The origin of Proof Eyewear can be traced back all the way to 1954 when the grandfather of the three brothers started his sawmill in Utah. Many years later in 2009, the three brothers thought up of the idea of a wooden eyewear brand. A year later, Proof Eyewear was launched.
Proof Eyewear doesn’t only offer wooden frames, but also other environmental-friendly materials such as cellulose acetate which is made from wood pulp. In order to do metal style frames, they turn to aluminum which is a material that can be recycled over and over again.
Since the brother had experience working in a wood mill, taking those skills and transferring them over to wood-based eyewear was a natural transition.
When they first brought the concept of wood glasses to the market it was a great success. This was all before wood eyewear really started gaining some traction in the market. Their product was so much of a success that they needed more capital to expand their business and brand so they decided to give the popular television program Shark Tank. Although they didn’t leave Shark Tank with a deal from the sharks, the exposure that they got from being featured on the show still pays off to this day.
Proof Eyewear Sunglasses and Optical Glasses
Looking for a pair of glasses on Proof’s website is easy, sun wear is in one category and optical is in another category. Under each catagory, there are various different options for you to help narrow down your search. You can take a look at the new releases, frames under $100, best sellers, wood collection, eco collection, and aluminum collection.
The wood collection is handcrafted from some of the finest woods that are sustainably sourced such as zebra wood, lacewood, ebony, mahogany, walnut bamboo, and stained bamboo. The wood is harvested and handmade into quality wood eyewear. All of their wood collection comes with spring-loaded hinges and is coated with a protective coating make a more durable frame that is also protected from water and sweat. Most of their frames in the wood collection are available in various different color patterns for you to pick from.
The eco collection is hand layered from a cotton-based acetate and the finest woods available. This cotton-based acetate is a completely renewable biodegradable material that is also hypoallergenic. This collection goes through a handmade process that starts with harvesting cotton, the cotton is broken down into fibers and combined with acetate. The end result is a beautiful high-quality frame. Each frame comes in a variety of different color patterns as well as polarized lenses to give you the best protection from the sun.
The aluminum collection is one of my favorites from Proof Eyewear. This collection is made by breaking down various recycled aluminum products and scraps, In this process, the aluminum is recycled and then heated up until it reaches it’s melting point. When it is all melted, it is then put into moldings of various different frames that are included in this collection. Aluminum frames give Proof the ability to offer a more classic look in metal frames.
Proof Eyewear Lenses
Proof Eyewear does not offer prescription lenses with their line of prescription frames, however, you are welcome to take the glasses somewhere else to have prescription lenses put in.
Their sunglasses line up comes with a variety of different lens colors, some lenses are polarized and some aren’t polarized. Polarized lenses give you an additional layer of protection by blocking out that glare that is reflecting off of horizontal surfaces such as water, or the ground. So depending on what you were planning on using your sunglasses doing, you may benefit from one or the other.
The sunglass lenses come in 10 different colors including purple, fire, kush, grey and fade more suitable for use on land, and they also have silver, sky, gold, sunset, and brown more suitable for use around water. Some of the lenses come as a mirror coating which doesn’t really provide you with any more protection, however, the mirror finish does reflect more light away from your eyes, which provides you with better clarity.
All of Proof Eyewear’s lenses are made from standard CR-39 that has been coated with a UV protective coating to help protect your eyes from those harmful rays coming from the sun. The UV protection coating on sunglasses protects your eyes the same way as the way sunscreen helps protect your skin from those harmful UV rays.
Proof Glasses Cost
The sunglasses from Proof Eyewear can range depending on the type of frame material that you choose. You can find some frames in the Eco collection that starts as low as $68 and some of the frames from the wood collection can run as high as $180 for wood optical frames in which you can put prescription lenses. There are plenty of options that are in between that price range with most frames coming in the range between $100 to $150.
While those prices may seem on the higher end, but when you take a look comparable items on the market from Ray-Ban or other wooden frames of similar styles the price of Proof’s glasses are fairly reasonably priced.
Return Policy & Warranty
The return policy over at Proof Eyewear is pretty straight forward. If you are not happy with your purchase from Proof you may return the product that you purchased within 30 days of the original purchase date.
The items do have to come back in the original condition that items arrived in. If your items do not get returned in the original condition you may be charged a re-stocking fee.
For the warranty, Proof Eyewear offers a 1-year warranty for any manufacturer defects on the frames from the materials or workmanship. Scratches that are caused by normal wear and tear are not covered under this warranty.
Best Place To Buy Proof Eyewear
There are quite a few places where you can find Proof Eyewear being sold at, including many local retailers including some private optometry places as well as stores such as PacSun. On their website, there is a tool that you could use to see if there is a local retailer that offers Proof Eyewear. This is a great way to assess how the frame fits and if the style works for you.
If you don’t live near a local retailer you can still try out the glasses risk-free by utilizing the 30-day return policy offered through Proof Eyewear’s official website.
Another place you can find plenty of Proof’s glasses is through their Amazon store. On here you are able to find some glasses that are no longer offered on Proof’s official website, along with their latest and most popular styles.
Do Good Business Model
There was an interview I had come across a while back where one of the brothers had mentioned that they didn’t start this company in order to become rich, but they wanted to use a socially conscious business model to do good around the world. Therefore with every purchase that you make through Proof Eyewear, the company donates to a cause that they have chosen.
They have chosen to provide help across the world in a unique way by donating funds on a project-by-project basis. This has allowed them to provide help to various projects such as tsunami relief in Japan, child soldier rehabilitation in Africa, and reforestation in Haiti.
One of the things that really shows how they are striving to be a socially-conscious business is their eyewear recycle program. Under this program if you have previous pairs of Proof Eyewear frames that you do not use anymore, or if that old pair happened to break you can donate them and Proof will reward you with a 40% off your next pair.
Overall, Proof Eyewear is definitely worth giving a try if you are interested in wood eyewear. As a company that has been featured on Shark Tank (and thrived after not getting a deal), Proof Eyewear is a reputable eyewear brand that offers high-quality frame made from sustainable materials at a reasonable cost.
Best of all they are a part of a trend of businesses similar to Warby Parker that provides quality products at a reasonable cost while still doing good around the world. Take a look for yourself at iwantproof.com.
Have you tried glasses from Proof Eyewear? How was your experience, let me know below