Vinylize glasses are handmade in Hungary by Tipton Eyeworks. Zachary Tipton’s quest began in 1998 with rimless frames and experimenting with different plastics. After searching for a new material to make frames, Tipton discovered his father’s old record collection and had the idea to recycle the abundant material to serve a new purpose. He discovered that one record could make three frames, this is where the name Vinylize was born in the year 1999. The first prototypes were homemade and others soon followed. In 2000 on a holiday in Hungary he presented the prototypes to the directors of an eyeglass factory. From 2001-2004 Tipton and other employees launched into developing technology to produce prescription eyewear from records.

The first series of Vinylize Eyewear was developed from communist vinyl, salvaged from the Budapest flea markets. The durable pressings could still be played, even after half a century, but to insulate them from the effects of heat, they were fused with biodegradable cellulose-acetate using proprietary technology. Following years of testing, the team developed methods to transform one of the longest lasting plastics into eyewear.

Vinylize was founded on the basis of making quality glasses from recycled materials. The use of old records gives the frames a unique look. The glasses are large, rugged, thick and the grooves are an integral part of the design. They remind individuals to reuse, recycle and conserve.

No two pairs are same. It depends on how each frame is cut from the record and machined, there are four groove patterns that can be generated. Each cut is sorted into thickness, age, provenance and flexibility. Ridges in the record may vary making patterns change and more ‘dead wax’ may be apparent. VInyl and cellulose are unpredictable in the production process. Therefore, slight shape variations may apply, these features underline the authenticity of the material.  

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