July , 2024
Sunglasses Industry Shining Bright Under the Sun
20:02 pm

Ankit Singh

Since the 1930s, sunglasses have evolved from mere eye protection into essential fashion accessories, particularly popular on the beach. Today, sunglasses are designed to cater to various uses. For instance, sports sunglasses are made from impact-resistant materials and feature significant tints for safety, while casual or fashion sunglasses use less resilient materials as they do not require the same robustness.

Market Growth and Influences

The increasing awareness of the harmful effects of UV rays has significantly boosted the sunglasses market. Additionally, the influence of celebrities and social media influencers has driven consumers to follow the latest fashion trends. Key market players are collaborating with fashion brands, celebrities, and fashion icons to promote their products and expand their consumer base.

Benefits of Wearing Sunglasses

The American Optometric Association recommends wearing sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) radiation to protect eyes from UV and blue light, which can cause serious eye problems. Sunglasses are essential after certain surgical procedures, such as LASIK, and are recommended in dusty areas, when leaving the house, and while watching TV or using a computer. Corrective eye surgery, like cataract surgery or LASIK, requires time for healing, and sunglasses protect eyes from harmful rays during recovery. Prolonged exposure to UV rays increases the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, eye cancer, and pterygium (a growth on the eyeball). Wearing sunglasses daily can help mitigate these risks. Additionally, for migraine sufferers, bright sunlight can trigger headaches, and wearing high-quality sunglasses can help prevent these painful episodes.

Market Size and Projections

The sunglasses market is projected to reach USD 32,171.4 million in 2024, up from USD 30,236.3 million in 2023, with a CAGR of 6.0% from 2024 to 2034. The market is expected to grow to USD 57,614.1 million by 2034. In India, the sunglasses market revenue is projected to be USD 1.64 billion in 2024, with an annual growth rate of 7.74% (CAGR 2024-2028). The United States is expected to generate the most revenue, at USD 5,258 million in 2024. The Indian eCommerce sunglasses market is predicted to reach USD 314.3 million by 2024 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.2%, reaching USD 593.2 million by 2028.

The market was valued at USD 24,500 million in 2019 and grew at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2019 to 2023. Despite a decline during the pandemic due to restricted outdoor activities, the market recovered as restrictions eased, reaching USD 30,236.3 million by 2023.

Industry Insights

BE visited a Lawrence & Mayo store in Kolkata and spoke with Debjyoti Chatterjee, Cluster Manager, about the sunglasses segment. He said, “Lawrence & Mayo is a 147-year-old heritage company with stores across India. In Kolkata, we run eight stores. We carry both foreign and Indian brands like Ray-Ban, Maui Jim, Xite, Scott, and Levi’s. Our sales are strong, with a daily footfall of 30-40 people across the city this month. The highest sales in the sunglasses segment occur in March, April, and May.”

History of Sunglasses

Two thousand years ago, Inuit people wore early snow goggles to protect their eyes from harsh sunlight. In the 12th century, Chinese people used see-through sheets of smoky quartz for sun protection, and Chinese judges wore smoky quartz to conceal their facial expressions during trials. In 1752, English optician James Ayscough invented tinted eyeglasses with side pieces, considered by some as the first sunglasses. Sunglasses have come a long way from their early forms, becoming both a protective tool and a fashion statement, with a market that continues to grow and evolve. 

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