April is the time we list our bi-annual Made in USA Eyewear listing. We are happy to announce that we have added a few new listings. The problem as we see it, is that many of the eyewear products that say Made In USA are not really made in USA. Aside from that there are over 1000 eyewear distributors in the USA alone.
This list is growing and it appears that eyewear manufacturing is coming back to the United States. MADE In USA products are strong consumer trends and there is an effort for companies to make eyewear/sunglasses (eyeglass frames) in the United States. To claim Made in the USA the product must be “all or virtually all” made in the U.S.
Often one will see Designed in New York (or another city) or Created in USA or even Handcrafted in… This labeling can be deceptive and consumers might think this is made in the USA. But it is not, it means the concept (idea) was designed or created in the USA.
Some sites say Assembled in USA. That means they bought the parts other places and put it together in the USA, again this does not qualify it for a Made in USA status. Costa is one company that sources their parts and assembles in the USA. They say they have a USA certification that the product is Built in the USA.
All products in the USA need to have a country of origin. Bottom line is the label should say MADE in the USA and even at the point you cannot trust the label.
That said we have pulled together a listing of places to find Made in America Eyewear products.
- Adam Mugavo (NY) Bespoke Wood eyewear who handcrafts his wood eyewear in his workshop in New York.
- Alvaro Planchett (Florida) A few years ago we wrote about Alvaro Planchett’s eyewear, which he was making out of his home with mystery materials and an oven. The product is very cool. We got to see it at an Optical Trade show several years ago. The site is still up and apparently he is still making them.
- American Eyewear (Nashville, Tennessee) Fairly new company. They sell only to eyecare professionals.
- AO Eyewear (Southbridge, MA) AO has been around for over 100 years. They used to make equipment, plan dispensing rooms and offices, eyewear, lenses, had optical shops and labs at one time.
- Arc Iris Wood Eyewear (Boise, ID) Manufacturers their wood eyewear in the USA.
- Aarns Plastic (NY) Makes limited edition eyeglasses in the USA.
- Bex Specs (Las Vegas, Nevada) Fairly new company who is committed to making their sunglasses and eyewear in the USA. They did not respond to an email request, little is known about them.
- Black Springs Folk Art Sunglasses (FL) Folksy wood sunglasses made in the USA.
- Bome Eyewear (Portland, OR) Bome Designs and manufactures RX’able and adjustable Ophthalmic and Sunglasses frames
- Charlie V (Detroit, Michigan) This is what he says on the website: The polycarbonate frames are tooled, produced and assembled in the USA using time tested injection molding technologies. The lenses are premium grade, 2mm shatter resistant polycarbonate, meeting all US and European standards for full UV protection and are polarized for an added level of safety, comfort and protection. The hinge is made up of stainless steel components, with the visible portion being produced from a leading edge 3D additive manufacturing system. 3D metal printing is an exclusive process—almost solely limited to the medical and aerospace industries today. Charlie V’s feature a 3D printed stainless steel hinge cover.
- Chums (Hurricane, Utah) Eyeglass accessories that have been made in Utah since 1983.
- Clear Lake Polarized Fishing Glasses who state, their eyewear is: Made and assembled in the USA, our frames are made of high quality TR90 Grilamid, giving our sunglasses extreme strength and durability that can withstand the harshest environments. They did confirm the product is made in the USA.
- Collins Brand (Los Angeles, CA) Funded via Kickstarter in 2016, this new eyewear company products are being made in Hayward, California. Jimmy Collins father is an ophthalmologist in New York and he grew up in the optical industry. They did respond to email inquiries to confirm products is being made in California.
- Croakies (Bozman, Montana) Eyewear accessories line that says some production is made in USA. We have sent an email to confirm and as of this posting, have not heard back from them. Croakies was purchased by Hilco in 2017.
- Customeyes or Rareframes (NY) Nader Zadi creates eyewear from vintage spectacles. This is done via his optical shop.
- Custom Eyes (Los Angeles, CA): www.customeyesla.com A true craftsman, these custom clip ons can be made for any shape of eyewear all made in the lab in Los Angeles.
- Drift Eyewear (Illinois) Wood sunglasses made in the USA.
- Eqo Eyewear (Colorado Springs, CO) reclaims broken skate decks in the USA and remakes into sunglasses.
- Ess Eyewear (Hailey, Idaho) Safety Eyewear with a few styles made in the USA.
- Exo Vault (Brooklyn, NY) Exo Vault is a machine shop that started making cell phone cases and have launched a metal sunglass collection. Established in 2009.
- Fatheadz Eyewear (Indianapolis, IN) This is what they say on their website: Why is “Made in America” important? We are an American company. Keeping jobs in America is important to us. Back in 2004, when we first started Fatheadz, like most start-up companies, we searched to find the least expensive way to make our product so we could be competitive in the market. The US is not a cheap place to manufacture. Now that we have a foot hold in the market and people know our name, they know where to get extra-wide eyewear, we decided it was time to take this first step. Currently their Made in America Product can be found in the sunglass collection.
- Figs Frames (Bend, Oregon) Award winning sculpture artist, Mike Bryant is creating wood eyewear, some even with diamond accents. All made in Bend, Oregon.
- Fluid Edge (Yuma, AZ) states they ‘Made in USA’. Email confirmation, they are made in USA. Sold online and through retailers.
- Gatorz Eyewear (Carlsbad, CA) Gatorz has been around for over 20 years. They make aluminum sunglasses in a patented process in the USA. They have supported the Wounded Warrior Project. Gatorz can be bought online or through selected retailers.
- Homes Eyewear (Detroit, Michigan) making eyewear from abandoned houses. Established in 2012.
- Icicles Performance Eyewear (Santa Margarita, CA) Several emails have gone back and forth trying to get a confirmation of their Made in USA claim. By the time of this post, we have not had confirmation.
- Indivijuall (Texas) Makes custom eyewear from acetate sheets. The acetate sheets are Not from the USA
- I Still Love You New York (Brooklyn, NY) Established in 2010, they make fun non- prescription sunglasses in the USA. Lazer cut jewelry and accessories. Sold online and through retailers.
- I Wear America (Grand Haven, MI) Launched by two opticians in 2015. Wanting to bring back eyewear manufacturing and strong believers in the made in USA, they source all their products from the United States. The products are assembled in Michigan. Multitudes of shapes and color combination can be made with their simple rimless concept. Available in 12 colors and an unlimited amount of shapes. Sold through eyecare professionals.
- iWood (Louisville, KY) wood eyewear made from reclaimed wood from luxury airplanes. One of the first wood eyewear lines, since 1999 and they give back.
- J Bird Collective (Portland, Oregon) Soft goods company, that raised funds via Kickstarter to produce Leather Eyewear.
- J Martasand (Los Angeles, CA) Fairly new eyewear company that seems to just get going the start of 2017. There was No response to an email inquiry. Sold online.
- John Hansen (New York) Make limited edition eyewear.
- Kurtis USA (Moro Bay, CA) USA Surf Goggles are 100% USA fabricated over many hours with most of the labor by hand. See some of the steps in this video
- Kala Eyewear (Oakland, CA) One of the best known made in USA companies. Eyecare professionals can find them in the Galleria at Vision Expo. Consumers can find them through their store locator.
- Kroops Eyewear (Indian Trail, NC) Established in 1947, Kroops is known for their eyewear for horseback riding, parachuting and other air sports.
- Lee Allen (Fall River, MA) Optical Shop which produces some custom and Bespoke eyewear, of which it could be argued have Made in USA Label.
- Legacy Eyewear (North Carolina) Wood sunglass collection founded in 2016.
- Lowercase Eyewear (Brooklyn, New York) Looks like New York might be the new center for eyewear manufacturing. Launched in early 2017.
- Liquid Eyewear– (Yuma, Arizona)
- Makr (Winter Park, FL) Leather made eyeglass cases are made in the USA.
- Nautique Optix (Ohio) Solid wood sunglasses made in Walnut Hills, Ohio. Uses Carl Zeiss Vision sun lenses.
- Norman Childs Eyewear (PA) The Zyl’s are made in California and the metals are made by Randolph Engineering in Randolph, MA.
- NW 77th Eyewear Factory (St. Louis, MO) Many will know the Erker name who is one of the oldest eyewear companies in the United States. They bought the machinery and started making USA eyewear in 2016.
- Parkman Sunglasses (Mountainside, NJ) Makes wood eyewear and limited edition eyewear from such objects such as guitars and vinyl records.
- Randolph USA (Engineering) (Randolph, MA) Another company that has a strong commitment American made products. Founded in 1972 this family run business focus and vision is to support American Made products. They also buy as much a possible from American Made products to complete the American Made Circle. Sold online and through eyecare professionals.
- Revision Military (Essex Junction, VA) I contacted them to confirm the products made in the USA, they did get back to me and wanted to know why I wanted the information. It must be a top military secret.. this is what they say on the website: ‘Revision’s 52,000 square foot operational and eyewear manufacturing hub houses the most technically advanced lens manufacturing equipment in North America featuring an environmentally controlled Class 100 Clean Room with molding and coating machines capable of producing millions of lenses annually. At its core is a fully automated lens coating process that cleans, coats, cures…) “
- Schro Shades (San Diego, CA) You have to love this, seen on Etsy, a guy is creating sunglasses in his garage from reclaimed wood and recycled plastic.
- Shinola (Michigan) According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, Shinola is set to make wood eyewear in the Southside of Chicago in 2017. Currently they manufacture jewelry, watches, bicycles and leather goods. As of the time of this post we have not seen eyewear. (Source)
- Shorehill Eyewear (Chicago, IL) 3D printed sunglasses made in the USA.
- Shwood (Oregon) Shwood has been producing wood and skate deck eyewear since 2009. At times has used reclaimed wood from sources such as Baseball bats and whiskey barrels, sea shells, moss and pinecones.
- Shuron Eyewear (Greenville, SC) has been in existence since 1865, making it one of the oldest eyewear companies still in existence in the United States. Most people will this from the infamous Shuron Ronsir, worn by almost everyone back in the 1950-1960s.
- Sires Eyewear (Los Angeles, CA) Wood sunglasses, sold online and through places like street fairs in Los Angeles area. Purchase online or through various shows.
- Solo Bambini (Burlingame, California) Children Eyewear line consisting of Itsy Bitsy, Teeny Weeny, Toddler, Rascal, Rookie 38, 42 and 44, Scout, Eagle Scout and Scout Master are all made in the USA. The line is sold online or through eyecare professionals.
- Som Noir (San Francisco, CA) creates Bespoke and limited edition eyewear from Buffalo horn. The Buffalo Horn is sourced from India and is not from the USA.
- Spectaculars (Westhampton Beach, NY) or Frameworks, America: This little known company is staring to make a splash. Spectaculars makes zyl acetate eyewear and sunwear. Uses Mazzucchlli Zyl.
- Spex Wax (San Diego, CA) Optician David Keith makes eyewear from upcycled records. He will also do Bespoke eyewear.
- State Optical (Chicago, Illinois) State Optical started out as Frieze Frames, bought by Europa in 2014 and since then, been steadily working to build the Made in USA Brand of State Optical Company. Sold through eyecare professionals.
- Topology Eyewear (San Francisco, CA) Soft launch via Facebook and launching in 2017. App driven ‘custom’ for your face eyewear. Confirmed via Facebook Messenger.
- Traps Eyewear (Maine) Makes sunwear from old lobster traps in Maine.
- Urban Spectacles (Illinois) Bespoke wood eyewear company. Master craftsman make wood eyewear, inlays, uses various materials. Beautiful products.
- Vision Ease Lens (Minneapolis, MN) Coppertone lenses are made in the USA. Vision Ease was purchased by Hoya in 2017
- Wesley Knight (Nashville, TN) Bespoke Eyewear from buffalo horn.
- Wooden Specs Studio (Indianapolis, IN) Great story, starting out in 2007, makes his own brass hinges. Purchase online or via Etsy.
- Wrist Readers (Seattle, Washington) Reading glasses that wrap around the wrists. They were funded on Kickstarter in 2016. Made in the USA. ‘WristReaders are designed, manufactured and assembled in the USA.’
3D Printed Eyewear– The day is not that far away where everyone will have a 3D printer to produce their own made in USA eyewear. There have been quite a few 3D printed eyewear companies, many have come and many have gone.
Update On Previous Made In USA Claims
Capital Eyewear (San Francisco, CA) We sent an email to them asking if they were still in business and have not heard back (4 months) At one time they were made in California.
Oakley: We do not know if any Oakley product is still made in America. We sent an email requesting an information update. Have not received a response. Luxottica owns Oakley
WileyX (Livermore. CA) They do make some frames and lenses and assemble much of their products in the USA. But because some of the accessories and cases are not made in the USA, they technically do not meet the qualifications to be declared Made in USA.
Costa (Florida) are hand assembled in the USA only.
Philly Eyeworks: Are not made in the USA, they are assembled and colored in the USA.
Garrett Leight (California) They occaissionally have a collaboration with a frame style for a Made in USA label.
3M Safety Products: We asked Hoya as the new owner if 3M Safety was still made in the USA. According to our contact at Hoya, no 3M safety products are currently being made in the USA.
Radian Mirage USA Dielectic Safety are assembled in the USA only.
UVEX Safety which is owned by Honeywell has a claim that some of their safety products are made in USA. I sent and email requesting more information and have yet to receive an answer.
Technically Speaking: Some of the following categories could qualify for Made in the USA
Steampunk Eyewear: Steampunk is a vintage/gothic/futuristic look and has a big following. Since most steampunk shades are DIY and made from found objects they can be considered made in the USA. Steampunk relies on salvaged parts and re-crafting them into a new look. Many Steampunk eyeglasses are seen on craft sites such as Etsy. If they are crafted locally, they do qualify for a made in USA label.
Vintage Eyewear: Many older frames were made in the USA: American Optical, RayBan, Victory Optical, Martin Copeland, Tart Optical, Wilsonite, Zyloware, May Optical to name a few. These frames are becoming rarer as the vintage eyewear market has grown. You can find on Etsy, eBay, 1stdibs, spotify and Vintage Eyewear Sites. Note that they may not have a country of origin as it was not necessary.
Disclaimer: We have not visited and or seen every one of the above listed companies. We have tried to contact (as noted above) the companies that claim a Made In USA label.
We have not listed every accessory company, which includes eyeglass cases, eyeglass retainers, contact lens supplies. We have not listed many nutraceutical companies many of which are made in the USA.