Jas Kaur from our George team writes about what to look out for when choosing sunglasses – and why it's so important to wear sunglasses when you're enjoying the sunshine...
When we’re on the beach we’re all very conscious about putting on suncream – but we don’t necessarily think about our eyes as much as we should.
Eye health is extremely important, so when you’re choosing a pair of sunglasses you’re doing more than than just making a fashion choice.
We’ve got around 50 styles in our sunglasses range for children and adults. We work hand in hand with our suppliers to create a range that's completely bespoke to George at Asda – and always with the Asda customer in the forefront of our minds. In our children’s range prices start from £1.50, going up to £4 for our licensed styles. Our adults’ ranges are £4-£6 each.
All sunglasses have a category filter to describe the level of protection they provide against the sun’s glare and UV rays. A rating of 0 gives very limited reduction of sun glare meaning they’re just a pair of fashion glasses that won't protect you. Filter category 1 will give you limited protection – they’re a light-tinted sunglass and give you very minimal protection from the sun. A category 2 is a general purpose sunglass, so you’ll be wearing them in the car, on the beach and out and about. While a category 2 will give you good protection against sun glare however a catgoery 3 will give you very high protection. We don’t really recommend a filter category of 4 for an ordinary pair of sunglasses because the lenses can be very dark. The darker the lense the more it can distort the colour vision, also exposing you to more UV as the dark lens dilates your pupil and increases the risk of UV damage.
All of our Asda sunglasses have a category filter of 3, as it’s one of the safest filters to have on sunglasses and will give you a very good amount of protection from UV and sun glare.
You need to keep in mind that UV rays will also reflect off surfaces when you’re out and about – so even with concrete and cement at least 40% will reflect back at you. Even grass will reflect back about 10 to 15%, so in terms of percentages you have to be really careful that you have the right eyewear on at the right time.
As well as testing for UV protection, all our glasses go through stringent tests including how much light goes through each individual lense. It’s not just about the UV protection; we also test from a chemical point of view. As the frames are plastic with acrylic lenses, some sunglasses are made from metal with rubber nose pads on them. Everything is tested from a compliance safety point of view.
We’re currently looking at using recycled plastic on our frames for our upcoming spring/summer 2019 range, where 25% of the material used would be from recycled plastic bottles. We’re waiting for samples to access durability and performance, and if all goes well we’re hoping to do a few fashion lines in the recycled plastic mix for next year.
Our most popular sunglasses for ladies at the moment are our aviators – they’ve been selling fantastically well. The rose gold aviators are my personal favourite!
Within our adult range we’ve also seen that our cat eye styles have been really popular this year too. We find that Asda customers love quirkier styles, so we make sure to introduce new styles like these each year. They tend to be bigger and bolder with diamanté for a little bit of bling, like this embellished glossy pair.
Our children’s range is so fun but we also keep the safety aspect at the forefront of our minds at all times. We’ve got some fantastic characters in the range – including Paw Patrol, Batman, Spiderman, My Little Pony and Disney Princesses.
When choosing sunglasses it really is a bit of trial and error to find the perfect style to suit your face shape. The biggest thing I would say when choosing sunglasses is to make sure that they’re comfortable on your face and that they’re not pinching your head or the bridge of your nose. If you were to lean forward they shouldn’t tip forward or fall off. Make sure to do the same little checks when you’re purchasing glasses for your children, as well as ensuring that the whole eye area is covered.
Also remember that if you drop your sunglasses you can damage the lense, which may not be visible to the naked eye. Damaged sunglasses offer limited UV protection. Make sure that you keep good care of your sunglasses! It’s always worth getting a case for your sunglasses and your children’s sunglasses, because once the lense is scratched you’ve lost the effectiveness of the UV protection.
Even the smallest amount of damage to eyes, especially at a young age, needs to be checked by an eye care professional. Make sure that you’re setting a good example by wearing your sunglasses this summer. It's good practice to get kids into wearing their sunglasses at a young age as good habits last a lifetime.
Our range of sunglasses is available in selected stores and online at George.com.