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Eyewear From Trash: Costa Baffin Recycled Sunglasses Review

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Clean our oceans, promote recycling, and protect your eyes — all with the latest sunglass collection from Costa and Bureo. We put the Costa Baffin sunglasses to the test in ocean glare and clear mountain sun.

It’s no secret that our waterways are being overrun with trash. Bureo, the company partnering with Costa to bring you the Untangle Our Oceans Collection, wants your sunglasses to be part of the solution.

The two companies partnered to use some of the 640,000 tons of trashed fishing nets floating around our oceans and make new products. For context, that’s about 328,036 Subaru Outbacks worth of just fishing nets floating around. That’s a lot of plastic!

The journey to turn this into high-quality gear starts in Chile. Bureo takes discarded fishing nets from Chilean fishing boats and breaks them down into small pellets, which are then made into Costa’s Untangle Our Oceans collection.

Among the line of sunglasses is the Baffin frame ($199-219). So while the purchase goes to a good cause, I was able to grab a pair for review as standalone eyewear.

Costa Baffin: Frames That Fit

The Baffin frames offered continual comfort after wearing them for weeks. Even all day with a hat, these remained comfortable. I am a frequent hat-wearer, and I always am searching for shades that fit with them.

Though not made of traditional materials, the frames were still light and comfortable with the added benefit of knowing you are doing your part to remove trash from the ocean.

The Baffin frame provided good coverage and protection for my eyes against the harsh light coming off the water no matter where I took them. Now, if Costa could come up with a pair of glasses that blocks the red tide in Florida or the grass pollen in Montana, my eyes would be really happy.

Allergies aside, my eyes did not feel as exhausted after being on the water all day with bright reflections as they usually are. It’s hard to subjectively judge sunglasses, but as with other Costa’s, these gave nice, clear vision.

The Ultimate Transcontinental Glasses

I used the Baffin sunglasses ($219) with Green Mirror lens for a Florida trip. I took them out initially to Venice Beach and Siesta Key for couple days to see how they held up with the bright glare from the ocean and nearly snow-white sand.

The Green Mirror lens is a great choice for both saltwater and freshwater applications. They excelled in bright, direct sunlight and didn’t seem too dark if a cloud rolled in overhead or after the sunset.

The 580s start with a copper base and have a rating of 10 percent light transmission. The lenses cut down on haze and high-energy blue light. The result is a crisp and vibrant field of vision. As a professional photographer, I find myself wishing I had a camera filter with the same green 580 glass lens.

Though I wasn’t fishing this time around, the high-contrast lens technology was appreciated. My days were spent on the sandy beaches searching for shark teeth and reading “Lonesome Dove.”  They cut down the glare on the ocean water, bright sand, and assisted my eyes while relaxing in the sand reading

Clear Eyes in the Big Skies

After Florida, I went back home to Montana. I took the Baffins with me on my local favorite stretches of river casting flies for trout. I wanted to really test out the polarization of the lenses. To see the difference from Montana rivers to Florida’s oceanic shorelines. While fishing some of our gin-clear mountain streams, I was impressed at how much farther away I could spot fish than I would have been able to in my other polarized sunglasses.

When the sun dipped behind the mountains and the lighting got low, the lenses surprised me. Glare cleared up and shadow details became enhanced. This made it easier to wade back across the stream to my rig.

While fishing in Yellowstone National Park, a herd of bison ran into the meadow next to my fishing hole. Kicking up a good amount of dust with them as they moved and wallowed. The dust combined with the newly ignited forest fire at the park boundary made for a hazy sunny day. The glasses nearly cut out the haze completely, giving me a clear view of the famed Lamar Valley.

Commerce With a Conscience

Aside from looking good and protecting your eyes, these glasses help clean our oceans. Bureo also manufactures skateboards, apparel, and other goods from recycled ocean plastics. While buying a pair of sunglasses may seem like a small gesture, it has a larger impact than we realize.

Bureo helps fund sustainable development projects in some coastal communities as well as supporting 1% For The Planet. Supporting partnerships like Costa and Bureo is a simple way for us as consumers to engage. And with the efforts, push for more companies to follow suit.

Chloe Nostrant is a photographer and artist from Livingston, Montana. She is an employee at the famed George Anderson’s Yellowstone Angler and executive director of the nonprofit Bridger Babes. She spends her free time chasing her next catch and creating artwork centered around the American West.

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