It’s 2023, we should know better than to use leather. Tesla has used vegan leather for a while now and even Doc Martens have a vegan range, although, not all of their boots use cruelty-free material. But among the fawning over the overpriced iPhone 15 range, there was one message I could 100 per cent get behind during this morning’s 2023 iPhone event. Apple made a big song and dance about its environmental focus this year, including phasing out leather accessories. Hallelujah.
Apple in 2020 announced it wanted to bring its entire carbon footprint to zero by 2030. Ignoring the fact Apple had a random ‘bit’ featuring a real-life Mother Nature, the message was the introduction of the company’s first carbon-neutral products, with the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 the guinea pigs. Apple said the Watch is carbon neutral (the caveat is that it only includes any aluminium Series 9 and SE models paired with a new Sport Loop, and Apple Watch Ultra 2 paired with a new Trail Loop or Alpine Loop), claiming also that innovations in the new watch range have resulted in reductions in product emissions of over 75 per cent for each Watch. The Watch will also ship in a fibre-based packaging.
To be carbon neutral, the Apple Watch uses “100 per cent clean electricity for manufacturing and product use, 30 per cent recycled or renewable material by weight, and 50 per cent of shipping without the use of air transportation”. As yet, there’s nothing outside of Apple’s remarks to validate these claims, but Apple says it has been certified by SCS Global Services.
Apple has also stopped using leather across all of its products – including iPhone accessories, not just Apple Watch bands. The company will replace leather with a new textile called FineWoven, which it says is an elegant and durable twill made from 68 per cent post-consumer recycled content.
“FineWoven offers a subtle lustre and a soft, suede-like feel”, according to Apple, and is available on iPhone MagSafe cases and wallets as well as the Magnetic Link and Modern Buckle Apple Watch bands.
You can read more about Apple’s environmental claims over here.
At its 2023 iPhone event, Apple unveiled the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, the Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2, USB-C for the AirPods Pro 2, Roadside Assistance via Satellite, and a bunch of environmental promises. This article has been updated since it was first published.
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