Dresden Vision is revolutionizing eyewear by offering customizable, eco-friendly glasses made of recyclable materials, with frames that are virtually impossible to break.
Proving that glasses don't need to be expensive to be sturdy, Dresden Vision offers frames starting at $49 – almost $100 less than other glasses from affordable retailers of the same prescription.
The Australian spectacle store on College only offers one style of frame: a shape based on the classic Wayfarer model that's meant to suit every type of face structure.
At Dresden, the necessity of shopping for glasses feels less sterile (think Hakim Optical) and more like an act of environmental activism.
Rather than using the standard acetate that fills the stock at boutique retailers like Warby Parker and Bonlook, Dresden manufacturers its glasses in Australia using a recyclable nylon called TR90.
The result is a lightweight frame that weighs half of what regular glasses do. You don't have to be delicate with these at all, in fact these smooth frames are designed for wearers to get handsy with.
Instead of using screws, Dresden glasses are held together by pins, which snap in to keep the frame intact.
That means no screwdrivers, and if you ever lose your pins, don't worry – every purchase comes with a lifetime supply of free pins in a variety of different colours.
Walking into the wood-paneled store you'll see its walls lined with the same model in 16 different playful colours, offering four different sizes from extra small to large.
You can build your own glasses here, swapping out the colours of your arms and even popping out lenses with a little force if you want to switch out prescriptions for sunglass lenses.
Environmental sustainability is a big part of the Dresden brand: they plan to stop using virgin plastic completely and eventually manufacture using old materials only.
Used and unwanted glasses are melted down and re-poured into moulds to create a brand new pair of glasses, giving them an added bit of texture every time they're re-used.
Dresden is also experimenting with other types of recyclable materials, and have made glasses made of skim milk bottle caps, beer keg lids, and timber. One of my favourite materials is a fisherman's net, salvaged from the ocean to create an aqua blue frame.
One of the best things about this store – besides the fact it's so cheap and is also dog friendly – is how quickly you can have a pair made just for you.
After getting a prescription from the in-house optometrist, head out to the front of the store to have your lenses cut and assembled. You'll be looking fashionable and seeing with precision in 15 minutes.