Our Story

Hawaii Wood Sunglasses · Our Story

Lani means "sky" in the Hawaiian language. The Hawaiian islands are a special place that was first discovered by sailors. First came the ancient Menehune and Polynesians on voyaging canoes. Then came explorers from Europe, Asia and America, some of whom decided to stay and call these islands home. Nowadays most people sail to Hawaii through the sky but one thing that everyone notices on their journey to the islands is just how much water there is between here and there. The Hawaiian islands are so special in how isolated from the continents we are and because of that we are so naturally and intimately connected to the sea.

Hawaii Wood Sunglasses Our Story

Lani Shades was born out of the search for the perfect sunglasses to wear while sailing in Hawaii. Neither the ancient voyagers nor Captain Cook had the benefit of high quality UV400 polarized eye protection when they were looking at the sun to trim their sails or through the sun's glare to watch for reefs.

Fast forward to today and sailors have many options and the crew at Sail Hawaii tried them all. Many sunglasses have been lost to the deep sea because they don't float. But even if they do float you're not going to jump in after them if the trade winds blow them off your face while sailing down huge swells across the Kaiwi Channel. If you're wearing wood sunglasses at least you can rest a little easier knowing that your sunglasses aren't adding to the serious and growing problem of plastic pollution in the ocean.

This is an issue that we care about deeply, especially in Hawaii where we're threatened by the growing great Pacific garbage patch just to the north of our islands that with the north swell brings more than just surfable waves onto our beloved beaches. So what started off as a personal search to find the best sunglasses for sailing in Hawaii turned into a mission to protect your eyes and make you look good without hurting the ocean that we love.