Robert Denning founded Westward Leaning in 2012 with a mission to create a sunglasses company that cared: one that would not target specific individuals, but was instead designed for everyone and anyone to wear. The genderless brand has since become a cult favorite for unique, modern, fun sunglasses. Spotted on everyone from Gigi Hadid to Priyanka Chopra, People Magazine has coined them “Hollywood’s Hottest Shades.”
Each Westward Leaning style tells a story, which is reflected by the signature parallelogram inlay featured on each pair's arms. The materials used for these inlays - such as wood, stone and metal - are sourced from around the globe and relate to specific causes to which the brand donates. Each pair supports an organization, such as California National Parks or Teach for America, most commonly by a 10% contribution of net income. In specific cases, such as its alignment with the Snow Leopard Trust, the brand will contribute in other ways, in this case by adopting a snow leopard for each pair sold.
Westward Leaning takes pride in the skills and attention to detail that have come to define their signature frames. Each style is handcrafted in China or Japan using only the finest materials, such as hand-finished, plant-based, biodegradable acetate. This acetate is made by extracting cellulose fibers from cotton and wood pulp to create a transparent paste that is then colored, processed and molded into large blocks that are cut and shaped by hand.
All Westward Leaning styles are vegan and come in the brand’s signature carrying case made from vegan leather.
The New York Times has praised Westward Leaning as a brand “best known for its glitzy mirrored lenses and its steadfast commitment to offering a limited selection of universally-flattering, unisex, perfected frame shapes.” Denning’s goal of creating a sunglasses company bigger than simply the sum of its parts has become a reality with this coveted range of sustainable accessories.