Sustainability Practices at Oakley

Sustainability Practices At Oakley

Oakley Implements Sustainability Practices to Go Green


The eyewear industry has grown rapidly due to increased demand for eye and vision care. In an increasingly digital world, many turn to solutions like glasses and sunglasses for much-needed vision correction and sun protection. Recent market research indicates the industry is headed towards a $215 billion market size by 2033. Researchers attribute this growth to the global need to improve vision, shield the eyes, and make a fashion statement. At the same time, branded eyewear products are becoming more and more accessible, offering quality and accessibility for everyone needing vision care.

Still, as the industry grows, companies, brands, and manufacturers are looking towards more direct sustainable practices to reduce environmental harm and align with a more conscious consumer base. In a previous post, we highlighted some sustainable plastic alternatives companies and brands have adopted to combat worldwide plastic pollution. Today, we produce approximately 430 million tons of plastic, two-thirds of which are single-use. These are significant pollutants as they often end up in landfills, oceans, and waterways without biodegrading.

Some plastic alternatives include bioplastics, which reduce reliance on fossil fuels, silicone, and glass. As eyewear designs and standards evolve, brands like Oakley look towards sustainable substitutes such as these — and other organic materials — to offer consumers more sustainable choices. Below, we’ll look at some of the sustainable practices Oakley has implemented over the years and how they stand to help promote eco-friendly production and distribution in the industry:


As a leading eyewear brand, Oakley balances performance and design. As such, the brand’s frame manufacturing is crucial in introducing sustainability in the production lifecycle. Oakley’s BiO-Matter is an environmentally friendly frame material made of castor bean bio-resin. The result is a plastic substitute that is durable and lightweight, much like the brand’s original O-Matter technology.

Today, Oakley’s lineup of sunglasses, which includes the all-new Sphaera and BiSphaera, still use the lightweight O-Matter frame design, which helps ensure enhanced airflow for athletes looking to boost sports performance while protecting their eyes. Other new sunglasses models from the brand use the sustainable BiO-Matter material, including the Hydra, Castel, Reedmace, and Leffingwell, which feature a sleek, matte-like texture for a clean aesthetic. The Oakley Leffingwell also comes in a waterless dye micro bag to reduce CO2 and COD emissions.

Better Cotton

Aside from implementing sustainability in its eyewear production, Oakley also extends its efforts to its other product lines, including sports apparel. The brand is a member of the non-profit Better Cotton, whose initiative is committed to sourcing more sustainable cotton by 2024. This includes cotton sources such as Better Cotton, recycled, Fairtrade, and organic cotton.

The non-profit recently introduced a traceable cotton solution to comply with supply chain transparency regulations for brands and retailers. The Traceable Better Cotton solution — three years in the making — allows for a comprehensive view of cotton’s journey through the supply chain by documenting stakeholder input on the Better Cotton Platform. Through this, suppliers can record transactional data to help track the origins of cotton used in a product’s lifecycle.


Finally, another key collaboration Oakley introduced to implement greener practices is CiClo — a chemical additive that the brand incorporated in its polo shirt line to combat pollution. While other sustainable methods rely on substitutes like yarns from recycled materials, CiCLO focuses on an “end of life” solution to reduce pollution.

CiCLO transforms the material into one that microbes can digest when added to a fabric. The eco-friendly golf community welcomed Oakley’s use of CiCLO in its Reduct polo line to promote fabric sourcing and biodegradability in performance apparel. The Oakley Reduct polos are durable, moisture-wicking, and stretchy, with a significantly smaller environmental footprint, prioritizing athletic performance and zero waste.