Ditch the Diors for These Locally-Made Shades

Photo: Instagram/ @tania_sarin

Photo: Instagram/@tania_sarin

San Francisco-based Westward Leaning has been a celebrity favorite for years—there are hundreds of photos on the brand's website of everyone from J.Law to J. Franco to Madonna wearing the company's sunnies. The glasses are handmade, they're beautiful, and—at $225 to $275—they're about $300 cheaper than the ubiquitous Dior So Real and Split frames that every blogger wears.

Launched in 2012, Westward Leaning sells nine core frame shapes, and mirrored lenses in a spectrum of colors. The brand's calling card is a “rhombus” swatch—made from materials like antler, wood, reflective neon polymers, and anodized aluminums—inlaid in a slanted parallelogram groove on the temples. 

Photo: Instagram/ @Taylor_Hill  

Photo: Instagram/@Taylor_Hill 

From a best practices perspective, Westward Leaning checks all the boxes. The company only uses animal products that have been naturally shed (like antler), and leadership visits all the factories on a regular basis. The brand never hires models to show off its products—instead opting for a robust Instagram feed of actual Westward Leaning customers—and designers specifically create gender-neutral glasses with every ethnicity and face shape in mind. Price point aside, these are super-rad, well-made sunnies from a socially-responsible company right here in our backyard. Kind of a no-brainer.

Summer travel selfie season is rapidly approaching, and your shades will play a major role in how many likes and 😍😍😍  your photos receive on Instagram. Why not mix things up this year and swap the shockingly expensive Diors for something with more local flavor? Who knows—the Westward Leaning social team might even make your their next Insta-star.