Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
May 12, 2020

What exactly is bio-acetate?

What exactly is bio-acetate?

Sounds fancy, but in fact it’s pretty simple.

Since moving away from crafting frames from actual tortoise shell (hence the now commonly used name for a mottled, brown colour!) sunglasses frames have generally been made of acetate. Known for being lightweight and flexible to allow frames to bend slightly and return to their original shape instead of breaking when pressure is applied to them, this versatile material is made up of a polymer derived from wood pulp and other natural cotton fibres. And it’s been sat firmly at the number one spot for sunglasses and glasses for… well, most of our lifetime. Acetate is preferable for sunglasses over other materials as it is made from mostly renewable materials, it’s hypoallergenic, it can be created in a full spectrum of colours and can be easily adjusted by opticians if you need the fit tweaked. It’s been a front runner in the eyewear industry for decades and we’ve made many of our older frames from it, but there is one problem with this option. And it’s called plasticisers.

In order to create this acetate material, you need to add a plasticiser into the pot. Usually these contain a petroleum derivative, but as suppliers around the world look to innovate to lessen their impact on the planet we see companies such as Mazzucchelli, the people behind the material used in our brand new collection, developing solutions to go greener by replacing this chemical with an alternative.

Enter bio-acetate. This kinder to the environment material is made with plasticisers from renewable sources rather than oil-based ones. By changing these chemicals into biodegradable plasticisers, the entire material becomes plant based, can break down, and as a result is better for our planet. Plus, it reduces our reliance on non-renewable resources.

All styles added to the Pala collection will always be exclusively bio acetate (or a few recycled styles made from otherwise wasted factory offcuts!). Expect ethically made sunglasses made from eco-friendly materials ready for you to wear whatever the weather, for many seasons to come. Every pair of our classic and familiar designs come with UVA/UVB protection, along with polarised options too, making getting outdoors even easier for use in activities on the ski slopes or near water.

To top it off, this material is more easily recyclable than regular acetate. Want to know how to recycle your old frames? Get in touch.

Delightful Delivery

Free and fast options

Hassle-free Returns

We’ll give you 30 days

Secure Payment

Keeping Things Safe

Certified B Corp

Feel good about your purchase

woman taking photo


Felicia is our ‘camera ninja’ when it comes to photography for the Pala website. Hailing from Sweden, but now based close to the Pala Brighton HQ. When she’s not exercising her skills of mind control to make models relax on shoots you’ll find her in a cafe enjoying a good cup of coffee, or at home baking cinnamon buns.



Emma is our marketing guru. When Emma isn’t planning, strategizing and creating content, she can be found travelling the world exploring its wonders, or in more recent times – headphones on with a paintbrush in her hand creating an abstract masterpiece!



Mary is the team leader of the Care4basket project in Bolgatanga, Ghana. When Mary is not organising and supporting the work across the communities, you will find her sowing sweet potatoes, ground nut, millet and looking after the animals on the farm.



Izzy is our Sales and Comms mastermind. When Izzy isn’t throwing herself down a mountain on a snowboard, she can normally be found rummaging through vintage shops or pounding the fields with her beloved puppy, Mac. She once mislaid a finger on a night out (eek!) – girl knows how to party!

cameraman and photographer Justin Hunt


Justin is our ‘Film Alchemist’. When he’s not laying on the floor looking for the next shot he’s either exploring the finest bourbons and listening to obscure country music tracks from the 50s and 60s. Normally found planning his next trip abroad or fuelling the pineapple on pizza debate. Just so you know he’s firmly in the Hawaiian camp!