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Ayres Sustainably Elevates the Eyeglasses Case

How often do you think about your eyeglasses case – that is, if you use one at all? Whether they’re reading glasses, sunglasses, or eyeglasses, you might keep your eyewear in a case at night or for part of the day. You likely invested a good deal into your specs, be it for everyday wearability and vision or to avoid a frame that breaks after a year or lenses that display significant scratching. Maintenance plays a part, but so does the case you store your eyewear in.

Yet, frequently, these cases don’t deliver the protection your glasses need. Soft materials collapse too quickly, placing greater wear on your glasses and increasing the likelihood of scratches. Or, the supposedly durable hard case is made with flimsy hinges: After a few years, the two halves seem to open all on their own. Others have tales of visible abrasions, seeing a rubber exterior peel, or noticing dents after you once tossed the case absentmindedly into your work bag.

Ayres London has designed an expectations-exceeding eyeglasses case, conceiving its fully metal model after 1940s-era British eyewear and the growing interest in luxury and sustainable products. Founder Mark Mason was inspired by his grandfather’s (Ernest Ayres) own eyeglasses case and the de Havilland Comet jet airline, coming up with a product for those seeking out higher-end goods – partially for the status but more importantly for their longer-lasting construction, in the same vein someone purchases a leather satchel or suitcase. As such, Ayres London launched in 2014 with the goal of creating a nearly indestructible and sustainable metal eyeglasses case backed by a lifetime guarantee. 

Composing the case’s body is aerospace-grade aluminium, created with a smooth, contemporary design that no one would mistake as utilitarian. Calling it “the last case you’ll ever need,” Ayres veers away from the typical plastic or metal-based model usually offered by a leather goods or luxury manufacturer while presenting a sleek design meant to appeal to those with an appreciation for British heritage craftsmanship. 

Starting from the metal engineered cases of decades past and upgrading it for someone with modern, minimal tastes, Ayres uses 7000-series aluminium, which is precision-cut into a nearly edge-free shape – something akin more to a luxury car silhouette – with advanced CNC technology. Beyond the visuals, the material gives the case its strength. This aircraft-grade aluminium feels lightweight yet delivers the robustness necessary to protect whatever’s inside. At the same time, its composition resists corrosion and more extreme activities. So, slip your glasses inside, place the case in your work bag, and head to the office (or wherever you’re going these days) without worrying about if they made it there intact.

de Havilland Comet jet airliner
de Havilland Comet jet airliner

While aluminium creates a durable exterior barrier, protecting your glasses from the inside is a material called Envirolast. Envirolast is a 100% reconstructed siliconized rubber made from tires that have reached the end of their usefulness. Rather than take up space in a junkyard, they’re recycled into an easily moulded liner that absorbs any impact the frame and lenses may experience. In between, the springs may need replacement with time, but sourcing parts is relatively straightforward and supports the lifetime use Ayres promises. 

To create this straightforward yet more elevated design, Ayres has its Innovation Lab in London. All cases are designed and tested to back up the company’s claims. To prove this aerospace-grade aluminium case can handle whatever comes at it, Ayres conducts tests involving pocket rubbing, scrapes and abrasions from briefcases and handbags, and even more aggressive, extreme measures to assess the full extent of their strength. Showing their worth, the materials have lasted (and protected the eyeglasses inside) after being stomped on in heels, driven over with a car, and thrown from a fifth-floor balcony. Beyond testing, the Innovation Lab reflects Ayres’ commitment to keeping design and development in the UK, upholding its goal of supporting British production and an overall higher standard of manufacturing.

Currently, the cases come in two sizes: a standard Classic and an extra-large Magna. A confluence of deceptively simplistic design and aspirational luxury, both sizes offer a choice of two colours. Natural delivers a versatile, neutral silver hue that goes above and beyond what we visually expect from an eyeglasses case. A second, in a rose-gold bronze, embodies what we seek from a statement shade: An impactful, immediate draw that’s in line with current trends without seeming like a passing fad. It delivers a bold, strong impression that’s a match for today’s sunglasses and thicker, personality-inflected eyeglasses frames. 

Like what you expect from a luxury brand, Ayres offers a personalisation option. Add your name, initials, or something else entirely to be laser-etched onto the metal for an additional fee of £25.

Ivan Yaskey

Philadelphia’s streetwear scenes and working as a copywriter for a Boston-based menswear brand sparked Ivan's passion for fashion and style more than a decade ago.

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