In today’s modern age of digital watches and wearable technology, it might seem like analogue wristwatches are becoming a thing of the past. 

However, if you’re keeping track of the time without your smartphone or just accessorising, wristwatches continue to be an outfit staple as they are functional and fashionable. 

As we become increasingly aware of the world’s climate crisis, it’s no surprise that consumers are leaning towards more sustainable options when it comes to watches. This emerging preference for eco-friendly timepieces is expected, mainly because the watch industry is currently lagging behind sustainable development. 

In case you’re not aware, the watch industry is bristling with social and environmental concerns: 

  • The mining of raw materials for watches, such as gold and diamonds, cause severe pollution and deforestation. 
  • Most brands could not show where their raw materials originally came from, and some brands were unwilling to disclose them. 
  • Some watch brands were also accused of human rights violations due to low pay and poor working conditions. 

Despite this problematic picture, hope is not lost as there are ways for you to become more sustainable with owning a watch.

For one, you can make the most of what you have. After all, the most eco-friendly watch is the one that you own. You can also go for functional secondhand or vintage watches. However, if you’re buying new, buy from sustainable brands.

But how do you know if a brand is sustainable?

a man catching a watch in his hands

As consumers, we can contribute to making the watch industry more environment-friendly by supporting brands that design and create sustainable watches.

How can we tell if a watch brand is genuinely sustainable and not just a greenwashed fast-fashion label? Here are four things to look out for:

1. Eco-conscious design. 

You’ll know if a brand respects the environment if its timepieces are designed to generate the least environmental impact possible. Check if a brand makes use of renewable organic and natural materials for their products. Look up if they practice carbon-neutral operations or if they use reusable, recyclable, or at least minimal packaging.

2. Social responsibility.

One of the best indicators of a brand’s sustainability is that they operate through ethical labour practices. Look into how a watch brand upholds the rights of each individual involved in their supply chain. Responsible brands pay their workers well and ensure that they are working in safe working environments. 

3. Slow yet quality production. 

Longevity is one of the watchmaking’s cardinal virtues. You’ll see if a watch brand is genuinely sustainable if they create limited high-quality pieces in slow production schedules. If a brand is putting a premium on quality, this surely means that they are using sturdier materials that make their products last long. 

4. Transparency.

If you were able to check the previous items when checking out a watch brand, it’s highly likely that they are environmentally and socially-aware. Compared to fast fashion labels, sustainable brands make the public aware of how their watches are produced and distributed. Consumers can browse their websites and easily find anything they need to know about their production, labour practices, and supply chain. 

Will a sustainable brand look good on me?

a woman wearing a watch on her wrist and drinking coffee

Whenever people hear or see the word “eco-friendly” or “sustainable” on wearable products, they would often think of dull colours and designs that are “too simple”. 

However, this is not necessarily the case for all watches. Fortunately, there are eco-conscious brands that combine both style and sustainability. There are watch brands that take pride in their solar-powered and sleek timepieces that are absolutely perfect for work and play. Other labels sell watches made from natural materials that suited to your preferences. There are also brands that design watches to fit modern lifestyles and current fashion trends minus the carbon footprint. 

So, in short, the answer is: Yes! You can look good wearing an eco-watch as long as you’re comfortable and it fits your fashion taste. 

So, what watch brands are sustainable?

At this point, you’re probably thinking of getting yourself an eco-watch.  However, you might not be so sure where to get one. Thankfully, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ve prepared a simple guide to the best sustainable watch brands that you might be interested in. 

So, if you’re planning on owning a watch that is both sustainable and stylish, then the best time to get one is now. Here these ten sustainable brands that create ethically-made timepieces for both men and women:

1. Solios: Sun-Powered Timepieces 

Price: $$$

Founded in 2019, Solios is a Canada-based watchmaker committed to making eco-friendly timepieces for everyone. 

The brand is widely known for its precise, durable, and stylish watches that run on solar energy. All of Solio’s watches are made of 100% recycled plastic waste, stainless steel bodies, and a sapphire-coated glass dome. With this, you can surely count on Solios’ watches to lost a long time. 

Shop for Solio’s solar-powered watches here.

2. WoodWatch: Sustainable Wooden Watches

Price: $$$

If you’re looking for unique and elegant watches inspired by nature, be sure to check out WoodWatch’s timepieces. 

Established in 2013, WoodWatch is a sustainable brand that creates durable watches using 100% natural wood. The brand also makes sure to only use high-quality and renewable organic materials in their wooden products. For every watch sold, WoodWatch plants at least three trees as part of their sustainability efforts. 

Purchase a timepiece from Woodwatch by visiting this link

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Sustainable Fashion, Explained: What is It and Why Does It Matter

3. Votch: Cool Watches Minus the Cruelty  

Price: $$$

If you’re looking for a watch brand to help you break away from conventional leather, then you should definitely consider this brand. 

Votch is a UK-based watchmaker that creates stylish eco-watches using cruelty-free and PETA-approved materials such as Piñatex and faux leather. They also partner with ethical production facilities to ensure a safe labour condition for their workers. 

Get one of Votch’s timepieces through this link.  

4. Nordgreen: Sustainable Scandinavian Watches  

Price: $$$

If you’re searching for a watch that combines sustainability design with the best quality, then Nordgreen is the brand for you. 

This Denmark-based watch brand creates unisex eco-watches that are made of conflict-free and non-toxic materials. Plus, every time Nordgreen sells a watch, they generously donate the proceeds to different NGOs in need. 

Take a look at Nordgreen’s available sustainable watches here. 

5. TIVC: Vegan and Ethically-Made Timepieces  

Price: $$$

Also known as “Time IV Change”, TIVC is an Australian brand famous for its cruelty-free and vegan watches. 

All of TIVC’s watches come with eco-friendly leather made of Piñatex, an ethically-sourced Pineapple textile from the Philippines. The brand also carries an SA8000 certification for the safety and ethics of their watch production. 

Get one of TIVC’s iconic wristwatches here

6. Ksana: Neon-Coloured Eco-watches 

Price: $$

Launched in 2019, Ksana is a London-based brand that offers well-designed eco-friendly watches with a pop of colour. 

Aside from its signature fun colour combinations, Ksana is also known for its sustainability. Each Ksana’s watch is made of recyclable silicone straps and stainless steel cases. The brand also offers a recycling initiative that recycles damaged straps from returned watches into solar panel coatings. 

Take a peek at Ksana’s boldly-coloured yet sustainable timepieces through this link

7. TRIWA: Transforming the Watch Industry  

Price: $$$

Established in 2007, TRIWA is a Swedish watchmaker that recycles materials from illegal firearms and plastic waste to produce stylishly elegant timepieces. 

TRIWA’s name stands for “Transforming the Industry of Watches”, and so far, they are doing an excellent job at it. Recently, TRIWA launched their “Time for Oceans Collections”, which showcases watch bands entirely made from recycled ocean plastics. They also previously made watches from Humanium Metal from illegal firearms. 

Check out TRIWA’s environmentally-friendly watches here

8. Olivia Burton: Cruelty-Free Watches 

 Price: $$$

Known for its minimalist design and signature botanical details, Olivia Burton is one of the most attractive brands that officer vegan-friendly watches on the market. 

Just recently, Olivia Burton released a line of cruelty-free timepieces with soft leather-look straps that are made of 100% recycled materials. Plus, the brand offers a warranty of defects for their watches for two years! 

You can buy Olivia Burton’s ethically-made timepieces through this link. 

9. BREDA: Thoughtfully-Made Watches 

Price: $$-$$$

A classic wristwatch makes for a thoughtful gift, but it’s better if it’s made with the environment in mind. 

BREDA, a Texas-based eco-watch brand, creates unisex watches using responsibly-sourced such as recycled plastic. With its sleek style and flawless functionality, Breda’s watches are definitely worth considering if you’re thinking of buying timepieces. Plus, the brand’s minimalist watches are within a budget-friendly price bracket, making them affordable for all. 

Take a look at BREDA’s contemporary timepieces here

10. Jord Watches: Handcrafted Timepieces

Price: $$$

If you’re someone who’s into watches made of refined wood and steel, then Jord Watches is a sustainable brand that you shouldn’t miss out on.

This US-based watch brand carefully handcrafts each of its durable timepieces using various natural wood, and responsibly-sourced steel materials fin Montana. The brand offers a year-long warranty and wooden bands that are compatible with Apple watches

You can shop for Jord’s wooden watches by visiting this link. 

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About The Author

May

May can usually be found reading a magazine and that will be more than likely a fashion or environmental magazine. When not absorbed in the latest gripping articles on fashion or eco living, May is a fashion writer who is passionate about the environment. May believes in looking and feeling good whilst living an eco friendly lifestyle. In her spare time she loves cooking, playing her guitar and going for country walks. May lives in the UK and enjoys spending time with friends, family and her two adorable cats.

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