A watch is our source for tracking whether we are right on schedule or way behind. However, a majority of people can go about their daily lives without wearing a watch because almost everybody checks the time on their cellphones. Just as Bob Dylan sang, “…the times they -are a changin’…” Still, watches haven’t been phased out. Some still use them for practical purposes and others for aesthetic reasons. What matters most is when selecting a timepiece, you’ve considered the sustainability of its production process along with style and quality.
If you’re looking for a sustainable watch, here are some brands to consider:
Danish founders, Vasilij Brandt and Pascar Paramasivam, are behind sustainable watch brand Nordgreen, known for its elegant, simple and timeless Scandinavian design. The watches are packaged and produced sustainably in an environment that meets local labor laws. In addition, Nordgreen goes beyond your usual ‘ethical production’ values by offering English lessons, childcare, and sleeping arrangements for all staff and their families.
What’s great about supporting Nordgreen is that when you make a watch purchase, a portion of that money goes to a good cause. Nordgreen has partnered with three NGO programs such as Water for Good which provides clean water to communities, Pratham UK which focusses on education, and Cool Earth which focusses on environmental projects. You get to choose which program receives your donation. So with Nordgreen watches, everyone benefits – from the staff down to the customer and everyone else in between.
Born out of a frustrating experience trying to replace a broken watch with an eco-friendly one, Hong Kong-based Australian founder Sally Lim launched ethical watch brand 2°EAST. Responsibly manufactured in Hong Kong by co-founder Ron who owns and operates a watch factory, 2°EAST watches feature high-quality components and sustainable-as-can-be materials such as sapphire crystal glass to ensure the watch doesn’t scratch, 316L stainless steel non-corrosive casing, rose gold which has been applied using a zero waste dry plating process and Japanese-made Miyota movement, this is a watch that’s as environmentally friendly as it is affordable, priced at just US$130.
The brand also offers vegan-friendly watch straps woven from yarn made from recycled plastic bottles in fun prints and bright colours. So if you’re after a sustainable watch (whether you’re a man, woman, gender-neutral, non-binary or shopping for a child) this is the brand to check out as their range is stylish, sustainable and they also ship internationally!
Founded by Canadian entrepreneurs Alexander Desabrais and Samuel Leroux, Solios is the first watch brand to combine a solar movement with minimalist design and high-quality sustainable materials.
The watch’s key features: sapphire coated glass, cruelty-free ‘eco-leather’ which is free from nasties such as PU, PVC and premium stainless steel featuring ionic coloration that produces no extra chemical waste. The timepiece only requires one battery during its lifetime, and paired with a stylish, minimalist design and durable materials, this is THE solar-powered sustainable watch brand to, well, watch.
Solios is also as socially conscious as it is environmentally conscious, partnering with non-profits Make-A-Wish and David Suzuki Foundation.
“The objective is simple: To enable those wearing Solios to be proud of the positive actions that have been taken, to remember that improving one’s lifestyle is an ongoing process, and to serve as a catalyst in this [climate] challenge that we are facing together.” – Solios
WeWood was established in Florence, Italy in 2009. This eco-friendly line of stylish watches is made from recycled materials and reclaimed wood such as maple, black wood, recycled teak and rosewood. They are the first company to create wrist watches made from wood.
This sustainable watch brand plants a tree for every watch that is purchased. WeWood has collaborated with Trees for the Future and has planted over 600,000 trees since 2011 with the goal of planting about a million trees by the year 2020.
Baume sustainable watch brand is dedicated to challenging the traditional process of making timepieces by avoiding the use of exotic materials and precious metals. Their mission is to evolve continuously through reinventing the way they create watches; a goal rooted in their desire to provide a better future through thoughtful design.
A collection of Baume watches are crafted from eco-friendly materials such as straps made of linen and cork fabrics, and even upcycled materials such as old skateboards or ocean plastic. The brand proves that it is possible to create stylish, luxury products from ‘eco’ materials and waste without disrespecting society and the planet.
Awake watches offer elegant timepieces that combine purpose, style and quality at a reasonable price. Their watch straps are made of Phoenix fabric strap that is made from 100 percent recycled plastic water bottles. Awake watches don’t need disposable batteries to work because it is inspired by the oceans, powered by nature.
“Three hours wear on your wrist will provide up to six months of power reserve.” – Awake
This Paris-based watch brand was only launched last year but if their successful Kickstarter campaign is anything to go by, it’s only early stages yet. While the sustainable brand may still be in its infancy, its sustainable values has proven that this brand is just what the world needs to wake us up.
Dan & Mez
This PETA-approved vegan sustainable watch company is based in Graz, Austria but their watches are handmade in Germany. Dan & Mez carry a premium design with Swiss movement, sapphire crystal glass and straps made from pineapple leather.
Founders, Daniel Madonia and Clemens Kohlbacher, are committed to changing the watch industry by offering cruelty-free stylish alternatives that don’t cost the earth or an animal’s life. If you’re a lover of vegan fashion, this is the watch brand for you!
There is always a better and more sustainable way to consume goods. Don’t you think it’s time to switch to a sustainable lifestyle?
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Feature image via Nordgreen.