How ARNETTE Is Leading the Movement to Bio-Friendly Eyewear
ARNETTE is one of the eyewear brands leading the movement to more sustainable practices in fashion, using materials such as bio-plastic or bio-acetate in their products.
All of ARNETTE’s regular styles are made up of 56% material derived from castor oil; and its Bio-Acetate Collection are made from 50-70% renewable raw materials, with lenses made with 39% castor oil-derived material. None of this sacrifices designs, of course. Their new 2021 collection offers fresh and retro styles, with shades in rose and midnight-blue tints, and tortoise-shell and tie-dye textures on the frames.
Choosing brands with earth-friendly practices is important to Nyamuull, a Native American and indigenous rights activist who models ARNETTE for this shoot. “Whatever happens to the land, that happens to us,” he says, which means that if humans are part of nature, then harming nature harms the species. “If you poison the nature, if you poison the air, if you poison the water, if you poison and cut down all the trees that is going to come back to you, and it's going to leave us in a time where there's going to be a lot of suffering, if we do not change our ways.”
Do I have a choice to do something more sustainably or not?- Dajana Radovanovic
Dajana Radovanovic, a model and health coach at her Dajana’s Health Club, believes change starts small. “Change doesn’t happen overnight,” she says. “Don’t overthink it.” It could start by modifying small choices: asking yourself throughout the day, “Do I have a choice to do something more sustainably or not?” For instance, if you order takeout food often, she recommends carrying reusable utensils around instead of using disposable plastic utensils. Or supporting local organic foods stores, which often means foods without “chemicals, pesticides, and all these other harmful substances.” At the same time, buying local supports local farmers whose produce hasn’t traveled thousands of miles to arrive in your supermarket.
Whatever happens to the land, that happens to us.- Nyamuull
Like Nyamuull, Radovanovic believes in working with nature’s cycles, which naturally provide according to its own timeline. “So if you look at winter months,” she says, “that's when citrus grows and it's usually the time where immune systems are a lot weaker and citrus is full of vitamin C and vitamin C is a great way to boost your immunity.”
Nyamuull sees this dependence on nature’s cycles as a way of connecting with how ancestors have lived for thousands of years. The industrial age, he says, “is only a couple of hundred years old, you know. Before that, where were we? We were tribal people. We were in touch with nature. You know, our beliefs were in symmetry and aligned with nature. Everything was oriented around this, this relationship and balance.” And because these values are specifically indigenous views of nature, environmental practices are distinctly decolonial practices: rewiring or upending Western ideologies that, run amok, have proved harmful for the environment.
One imagines a future where humans are no longer in harmful opposition to nature, and neither is their fashion. ARNETTE is choosing to make a bet towards this future, to envision a world where fashion both draws from and gives back to nature. While time is running out, Nyamuull does think it’s still possible to return to ways that don’t inflict damage on the earth. All that’s required for change is basic humility. “We have to treat the world around us with some respect.”
We have to treat the world around us with some respect.- Nyamuull