03/31/2020 by Sarah Ottino - Not sponsored
I am a very frugal shopper. Like, so frugal that... wait, I'm pretty sure I've started a product review exactly like that before. Anyway, it's good to reinforce so you guys know how little money I like to spend. Like, so frugal that I lived with sunglasses that were so scratched that I could barely see out of them and couldn't even wear them while driving. Then the hinges broke. I guess that was a sign to snag some new shades!
I've spent years purchasing cheap sunglasses from Walmart, CVS, and even the Dollar Store to save a quick buck. Unfortunately all those purchases resulted in probably dozens of pairs of sunglasses in landfills, lakes, the ocean, and other places I've accidentally lost them. So for my next purchase of I-hope-I-don't-lose-these sunglasses, I decided to go a different route.
I've been keeping an eye out for different ways to be more sustainable, so before every new purchase I do a little research to see what I can do to be a better eco-warrier. The Pela Vision sunglasses popped up pretty quickly during my search, but the hefty $65 price tag preventing me from clicking the purchase button (sure $65 might not seem like a lot to some of you, but I could get 65 pairs of sunglasses at the Dollar Store for that price!). I decided to hold off since my birthday was right around the corner. Plus I had no idea which color I wanted since they were all so cute. Do I go with funky purple or green? Or stick with my standard tortoise shell brown?
Luckily enough, I was able to pull the trigger with some birthday cash a few weeks later. I finally decided on the Bonito sunglasses in the Sand color and signed up for their newsletter to receive 10% off, which helped bring the cost down slightly. They delivered to me in San Diego a few days later and I was happy to see they had shipped in zero-waste packaging.
The sunglasses came in a little cardboard box. Inside was a soft sunglasses carrying bag with my shiny new shades inside. I immediately tried them on, and my fears of them being too tight based on other product reviews was luckily dissolved. They fit perfectly!
The only downside is that they do not feel like $65 sunglasses. The plastic is a slightly transparent and light in weight. If they didn't have the Pela branding on the side, I'd think they could be from Forever 21 or Target. But the plus side is that I'm absolutely in love with the color and design (and they are eco-friendly of course)! I've never ever ever had luck buying sunglasses online and do much better when I can try a bunch of different styles on in person. But I'm thrilled with the style. The sand color is a mix between beige, tan, and light pink depending on the lighting outside. And the carrying case is also convenient for preventing scratches while throwing them in my bag or purse. If I end up losing or breaking these, I'd totally buy them again in a funky color.
My first time wearing them was during a 10-hour driving day from San Diego to Baja, Mexico. Many of their website reviews had small complaints of the sunglasses being too tight and causing headaches pretty quickly, but my only other option was to go blind from the sun so I thought a minor headache would be the better route. But I'm happy to say that they didn't start hurting my ears until about 6 hours into our roadtrip, and never caused a headache. They're definitely on the tighter side, but since the hinges are completely plastic, they don't actively squeeze your head like other sunglasses that have metal screws. And since they were a little bit tight, they stayed snugly on my head while running in and out of convenient stores for bathroom breaks.
The lenses are also a nice shade of dark brown. It was hard to tell from the customer images on their website if the lenses would be solid black or super see-through, but regardless, they do claim to offer "full UVA/UVB protection" which is the most important feature. The lenses are definitely transparent so people can see your eyes, but they also work really well in blocking the sun from blinding you. They do not come in a polarized version, which I don't mind because polarized sunglasses make me dizzy anyway.
The last thing I'll touch on is their sustainability efforts. These sunglasses are actually not compostable but will biodegrade in landfill environments. Plus they have a Pela 360 Program where you can send your sunglasses back to them for recycling (simply email them to get started). They also offset their carbon footprint, donate to a few organizations, and make efforts to reduce water usage and waste production. You can learn more about their sustainability mission on their Pela website here!
It's been a few weeks since having my new sunglasses, and unfortunately they've suffered a few minor scratches already (I'm not as good as I thought I'd be about keeping them in the carry bag). But they've been an absolute must-have every time I leave the house here in sunny Baja, and I would recommend these to anyone who doesn't mind the price tag.
✓ Climate neutral certified ✓ 1% For The Planet member ✓ Conscious sustainability efforts
✓ Zero waste shipping ✓ Free exchanges ✓ Free shipping
✓ Biodegradable/recyclable ✓ Gives back ✓ And of course: Animal friendly
Cost: $64.95 per pair of eco-friendly sunglasses
Free global shipping on orders over $25
Subscribe to their newsletter for 10% off your first purchase
This post is completely unsponsored and is not a paid advertisement. I was not given free products or discounts for this review. There are no affiliate links and I do not work for the Pela Vision brand.