Hair today, gone tomorrow? Two Royal College of Art graduates have discovered a way to turn human tresses into sustainable eyewear. Not all of us are blessed with 20/20 vision, which means that petroleum-based plastic or energy-intensive wire frames are a necessary evil. Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves’ aptly named “hair glasses,” however, tap into a readily available and renewable resource: the millions of pounds of hair cuttings that salons across the United Kingdom throw away each year.
Because of the world’s rapidly increasing population, hair is and will continue to be in abundant supply. But how do you turn flimsy follicles into a durable yet lightweight structure? The answer lies in a plant-based bioresin that acts as a binding agent. No harmful substances are released during production, plus the resulting frames are 100 percent biodegradable when they’re no longer useful.
Made from hair and bioresin, the resulting frames are 100 percent biodegradable at the end of their lives.
The craftsmanship and quality of these eyeglasses are clear for anyone to see. Marked by a golden comb-shape insignia on the temples, each frame showcases strands of blonde, black, and brown hair as undulating wisps or braids that mimic tortoiseshell. The spectacles can be viewed up close at the RCA graduate exhibit in London, where they’ll be on display until July 3.