1010 Optics logo

What To Do With Your Old Glasses Frames

Whether your current glasses broke, stopped fitting right or you’re just ready for a new look, eventually even the mosts faithful pair of frames reaches the end of their lifespan. When it’s time for you to part ways with your glasses, assuming you don’t want to hold on to them for sentimental value, you may find yourself facing a dilemma; what do you do with your old glasses frames?

If you’re retiring your glasses for a new designer pair of frames, but they are otherwise totally useable, don’t get rid of them! If you’re switching up your frames because your old ones are totally trashed, it’s important to dispose of them the right way. There are more options than you might think for both, so let’s get into it!

Bring them to us at 10/10 Optics! End of post. Kidding, sort of, you can always bring us your old frames regardless of their condition. But if you don’t happen to be in the NYC area, keep reading.


If you have a pair of frames that are broken beyond repair, don’t just toss them in the trash! Most common materials found in frames qualify as recyclables. If you’re getting new lenses along with your frames, the lenses are also recyclable. Just be sure to sort your frames and/or lenses into the proper recycling bins depending on the material you’re recycling.  


If your glasses frames are completely ruined, your options are obviously fairly limited in terms of what you can do with them. But if you have some frames that you just aren’t using anymore, then donation is a great way to give a new life to a sturdy pair of glasses while also helping those who struggle to afford them. There are a number of reputable organizations that redistribute old frames to those who need them, one of the most widespread being the Lions Club, who take donated glasses and get them to people in developing countries. To find a Lions Club drop-off donation box, search their directory.

The glasses frames we collect here at 10/10 Optics we donate the glasses frames we collect to an organization New Eyes for the Needy. This 501(C)(3) not-for-profit that accepts, recycles and distributes donated glasses to children and adults in need overseas. New Eyes has distributed over 9 million used glasses and assorted eyewear to countries throughout the developing world.

Gift Within Your Social Network  

Donating to those in need is an excellent option, but it’s always possible that someone you know personally may be looking for a pair of frames–and your old frames might be exactly what they need! Ask around your friends and family circles to see if anyone is looking for a new pair of frames; glasses can be a really cost saving hand-me-down. Of course the lenses would need updating, because wearing the wrong prescription can be harmful for the eyes. If you have any connections to your local theater community, glasses are commonly used as costumes and props and could be an asset there.

Get Creative With It

If you’re artistically inclined, there’s always the option to repurpose your old frames into a decorative piece of art, and as always, Pinterest, and the rest of the internet is full of ideas ideas for inspiration.

Animal art – Try turning your old pair of glasses into a sculpture of your spirit animal.

Jewelry – From necklaces made of lenses and frames to earrings made of glasses arms there are endless ways to transform old glasses into a new accessory.

Picture frames – With a little time and effort glasses frames can become picture frames. You can even use an antique looking pair and old photos for a bit of nostalgia.

There’s also this pièce de résistance – a cascading chandelier, but unless you have about 500 old pairs of frames, this one may be a little tough to pull off.

There are so many ideas for how to upcycle your old glasses if you’re into arts and crafts, the options are endless.

No matter what you decide to do with your old glasses frames, you’re definitely going to want a stylish pair to replace them; that’s where 1010 Optics comes in! We have 40 years of combined experience to help you find a fantastic pair of glasses that are right for your face, and our collection of eyewear from all over the world is unrivaled. All you need to do to consult with one of our eyewear professionals is book an appointment!