I used to own a digital G-shock watch with a blue strap and pink centre and I must say I cherished that watch for 6 years and wore it everywhere. To sleep, to school and even while having a bath. It was my greatest pride and I remember showing it off to all my friends in school when it was the latest trend. Sometimes I wonder how people used to deal with telling time without today’s technology. In the late 1500’s, people used pocket watches which then eventually evolved into analogue watches then came the digital watches and today, the biggest hype in this industry are smart watches by Apple, Samsung, etc. However, the watch industry has recently started facing several environmental concerns.
Even though wearing a digital or analogue watch is considered to be more eco-friendly than a smartwatch due to lesser wastage of energy and electricity, there are still several concerns that arise from the production of this accessory. As innovations see no bounds, new and unique features keep getting added to the manufacturing process just to make these watches look “pretty”. The hidden truth is that the raw materials needed must be dug out from the ground. Together with the jewellery industry, around 50% of the world’s gold and 67% of mined rough diamonds are used up. Mining of these raw materials cause drastic environmental changes and damages like air pollution, soil degradation, deforestation, etc.
Our very own company, greenmarket.eco, has collaborated with Bear Essentials, a brand that designs products that are environmentally friendly. The brand creates watches out of sustainable wood sources in the UK with unique and travel proof durable designs. The best part about this is that with every purchase made, a new tree is planted to make up for any loss made during the production process. Other companies like NordGreen in Copenhagen, have tried to come up with alternate ways to manufacture watches that wouldn’t harm the environment. From using vegan leather for straps to making refurbished watches, the brand has found a way to give back to the society. Moreover, with every purchase, a generous contribution is made to charity and NGOs that look after clean water availability, rainforest preservation and quality education.
The bigger question that now rises is the fact that how do buyers identify a sustainable watch from the regular ones. Well the first criteria is social sustainability. The brand producing the watch should have a level of transparency when it comes to safe working conditions and fair pay. Second, environmental sustainability. Like the name suggests, this criterion focusses on the brand being transparent about the natural and regenerated materials that are used. Third, slow production. A green company reduces the amount of collections released every year to avoid wastage of resources and production lines. And lastly, circular practices. This kind of practice ensures long lasting, resalable, and recyclable designs that can go back into production with the brand.
Something so small in the fashion industry has a great impact on the world due to the various types of materials that are in play while manufacturing the goods. From production lines to the packaging system, every aspect of the watch industry can be made sustainable. Several companies all over the world are embracing eco-friendly options that would have a positive impact on the climate. And a wooden watch doesn’t sound so bad as a GenZ fashion trend. What kind are you going to buy next?