Rolf Spectacles // Bean glasses win the European green award

Eco heroes from Tyrol: bean glasses win the European green award

In April, Tyrolean eyewear manufacturers Rolf Spectacles received the European Green Award Gold Trophy from the European Institute of Applied Sustainability for their glasses made out of beans.

The reason was simple: not only are their latest plant-based bean glasses produced locally and in an environmentally friendly way in the Tyrolean valley of Lechtal, they are also made from a raw material that regrows incredibly quickly: a species of the Euphorbiaceae family.

What’s more, thanks to 3D printing and the patented Flexlock hinge, the glasses don’t have any screws and are therefore long-lasting and low-maintenance.

finest eyewear . feinste Brilllen
ROLF - finest eyewear . feinste Brilllen
ROLF - finest eyewear . feinste Brilllen
ROLF - finest eyewear . feinste Brilllen

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”Bernhard Wolf, CEO Rolf Spectacles” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”18″]Sustainability has been an important topic for us for over ten years, and we’ve worked with natural local resources and handcrafting techniques from the very beginning.


With the glasses made out of beans, we’ve gone one step further with the concept of sustainability, and successfully so, which we’re incredibly proud of after such a turbulent year.


The European Green Award Gold Trophy is clear proof that the brothers, who established the eyewear company in 2009 in their native Lechtal, in Tyrol, are on the right strategic path, and this is reinforced by their latest recognition.[/perfectpullquote]

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”Dr. Andrea Grimm, co-founder of the European Institute of Applied Sustainability” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”18″]The aim of the European Green Award is to support exceptional sustainable solutions and sustainable designers.


We want to do our bit for the transformation of the economy, science, and society – we want to create awareness of eco heroes. Eco heroes like Rolf, who with their high standards in all things sustainability and regionality make an important contribution to Europe’s sustainable development.[/perfectpullquote]

How the beans of a plant are turned into glasses

As the basis for the 23 frame designs in the new substance collection, the Tyrolean glasses manufacturers use beans from a species of the Euphorbiaceae family. In powdered form, not only does it meet all technical requirements, it also boasts impressive sustainability credentials.

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Combined with the award-winning Rolf Flexlock hinge, which can easily be printed at the same time as the frame using 3D printing technology, the result is a pair of high-performance, screwless, and plant-based glasses with input from only a small selection of suppliers, which is flexible, durable, and even gentle on the skin.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”Roland Wolf, founder Rolf Spectacles” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”18″]The plants are grown in tropical climates without any kind of genetic engineering, they don’t compete with food crops, and they can grow very tall, very quickly.[/perfectpullquote]

ROLF Spectacles Bean glasses – popular with judging panels and customers alike

The glasses design has now received multiple international awards and has not only impressed members of judging panels but also customers in Rolf stores and partner outlets. Their appeal lies in their cool appearance and the fact that more and more customers are looking for products that are durable and kind to the environment, with the added bonus of being locally made.

The results of various surveys confirm that the Tyrolean company’s values are at the forefront of the current movement: according to a study conducted by Ernst & Young in May 2020, after price (57%), German customers look out for durability (55%) and the materials used (46%).1 55% of Germans believe that sustainability shouldn’t be labelled a form of luxury2, and over 75% consider climate neutrality to be the biggest challenge facing humanity3.

ROLF - finest eyewear . feinste Brilllen
ROLF - finest eyewear . feinste Brilllen
ROLF - finest eyewear . feinste Brilllen

In Switzerland, almost half of respondents in a Statista survey thought that sustainability will play an important role in our purchasing decisions in the future. 4 This sets the scene perfectly for a regional and sustainable design company such as Rolf.
Simultaneous hinge printing

About ROLF Spectacles

Glasses manufacturer ROLF was founded in 2009 in the heart of Austria’s Tyrolean Alps. The family company has become known for its unique wooden glasses and has now supplemented its offering with eyewear made out of titanium, stone, horn, and plant-based materials – all without using any screws, thereby eliminating the need for any maintenance. In 2019, ROLF employed 39 people at its site in Weißenbach in the Tyrol region of Austria and dispatched its glasses to more than 50 countries around the world.

Founder and visionary Roland Wolf has already surprised the international eyewear market with several innovations related to his core product, starting with materials and moving on to production technology and design. The eyewear designer’s approach is to combine his love of nature with timeless styles and innovative technology, the success of which is evidenced by numerous awards, including the Silmo d’Or, the German Design Award, the Green Design Award, the Red Dot Award, and the Muse Design Award.

But despite the international acclaim and awards, the creative company continues to manufacture in the home of the brand, by hand and using natural resources, thereby remaining faithful to the guiding principle of the business: creating products that respect yesterday, work for today, and prepare for tomorrow.

About European Green Award

The EUROPEAN GREEN AWARD brings national and international recognition for special achievements of companies as well as individuals and honors with an international jury of experts in green products, projects, events, hotels, marketing & change-makers who have done excellent work for sustainable development in Europe.

Their mission is not only to honour these outstanding ecological and fair achievements but to offer them international visibility as excellent sustainability players and future shapers through this platform. They specifically want to promote young change-makers with green impact by showing their ideas and commitment to leading experts, the public and the green community.

In this way, we want to make an essential contribution to Europe’s transition to a modern, resource-efficient, fair and competitive economy of the future.

An independent and interdisciplinary jury of experts from sustainable companies, agencies, science and institutions carries out the judging.

Read more about this Austrian brand on TEF Magazine or visit their website.

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