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10 Interesting Facts About Sunglasses

If you think back to your spring break days, your first holiday, or your most epic road trip; you’ll probably struggle to picture your younger self without wearing shades, whether they are 1980’s Aviator style or slim-line sport sunglasses.

Sunglasses are the lifeblood of all of our summers, but what do we know about them? The truth is probably not a huge amount. Here at Lucyd, we are passionate about all things eyeglasses, so let us change that for you, and drop 10 of our best stats and facts.

1) They were invented over 2,000 years ago

Yes, that is true. The first pair of sunglasses can be traced back over 2,000 years ago to Eskimos who were native to Alaska, Greenland, Siberia and other Arctic regions. Initially used as snow glasses, to protect the eyes from the sunlight reflecting off the snow-laden ground and causing snow blindness, the first sunglasses were made of wood and leather. 

2) Colored lens were designed to solve color blindness

While there is nothing cooler than having some red color lenses in your sunglasses; the truth is that different colored lenses were initially developed by a man called James Ayscough with the intention of resolving color blindness. 

3) Luxottica rule the roost

Have you ever heard of the Italian company Luxottica? Probably not. However, they control a significant share of the sunglasses market; including some of your favorite fashion brands. It is one of the largest designers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers of sunglasses making its hold on the market cradle-to-grave. Armani, Chanel, RayBan, Burberry, D&G are some of their biggest brands (via license), while Target Optical and Sunglass Hut are some of their biggest retailer outlets.

4) Christian Dior was the first fashion brand to license eyewear

Licensing your brand intellectual property to a partner who specializes in a field different to your own is such a common way of extending your brand reach to a broader range of categories, without you needing to take on the risk, cost and infrastructure expansion. Christian Dior was the first major fashion brand to license its eyewear, when in 2017, its owner LVMH, licensed eyewear from the Dior brand to Thelios. Here at Lucyd we’ve since developed our own eyewear licensing relationship with the American apparel giant Nautica.

5) Chinese judiciaries wore sunglasses for emotional detachment

If you thought throwing on a pair of sunglasses to stop people from seeing how upset you are was new, you are wrong. Chinese judges would historically wear sunglasses while sitting in the courtroom, to emotionally detach themselves from the details of the case. This practice was first documented in the early 1500’s; predating celebrities wearing them days after a high profile break up.

6) National Sunglasses Day is 27th June

There are national days of celebration for almost all things now; but did you know that national sunglasses day is 27th June. Brought into existence by the Vision Council in 2019, National Sunglasses Day is designed to bring to light the importance of wearing UV (ultraviolet) protective sunwear and eyewear.

7) Lost or broken every 14 minutes

A scary fact is that an American loses, sits on or breaks a pair of sunglasses every 14 minutes. This means that in America alone, a little more than 37,500 glasses suffer at the hands of our clumsiness each year.

8) Sold every 90 seconds on eBay

Given that sunglasses are lost and broken so frequently it also shouldn’t be surprising to learn that a new pair of sunglasses are bought every 90 seconds on eBay. That’s a massive 350,000 sunglasses sold per year on just eBay alone.

9) Wooden frames are making a comeback

As the people of the world shift their attention towards environmentalism and protecting the planet, we begin to look at more ways to reduce our plastic consumption, and make our consumables more environmentally friendly. This has brought about a mini resurgence in wooden frames on sunglasses, as people see the compostable and recyclable nature of wood to be a positive to environmental preservation, compared to the difficult to decompose plastic frames. 

10) Just 25% of sunglasses protect your eyes

A scary fact to finish on, but one that we think is incredibly important and needs to change. Little over 1 in 4 of the sunglasses that are purchased today, offer adequate UV protection for your eyes. With almost 75% of sunglasses just taking up the role of fashion accessory. You only get one pair of eyes in your lifetime, and we believe that they should be cautiously protected, it is for this reason that frames such as our Lucyd Darkside come with UV400 Lenses, to give your eyes the premier protection from the dangers of UV rays

Now you’ve learnt a little more about the origins and the fascinations of sunglasses, why not shop for a pair today .
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