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Snowboarder Magazine; Tech prof lauds new plant-based sunglass lens use

Snowboarder Magazine; Tech prof lauds new plant-based sunglass lens use

Snowboarder magazine’s website reports today (Mar. 21) that Zeal Optics is introducing one of the world’s first sunglass lens using a plant-based bonding agent, replacing a petroleum-based bonder. With the new e-llume lenses, the Boulder, Colo.-based company now believes that it leads the way towards completely removing crude oil from sunglass production.

Today, Zeal produces all their sunglass frames with Z-resin, a plant-based material that uses castor oil, eliminating harmful crude oil from the manufacturing process. “Castor represents a renewable resource,” said Dick Auld, Texas Tech University’s Rockwell Endowed Chair in Plant and Soil Science. “We commend Zeal for taking the initiative to use a product that not only increases their sustainability, but also maintains the high quality of their product.”

Zeal Optics’ patent-pending bio based lenses offer protection and prevention from UVA, B, and C, as well as being able to identify and block a negative light range called High Energy Visible light, said Zeal President John Sanchez. The ZEAL e-llume lens not only identifies this spectrum of light but helps to block it out, he said.

The e-llume lenses contain a hard coating for scratch resistance, along with a polarized film for eye protection. Sanchez indicated that he hopes the new process “will become the new industry benchmark for optical clarity with an environmental purpose.”

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Dick Auld, Professor, Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-5704 or



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