Featured image: TRIWA
In order to fund EcoCult’s research and writing, the brands listed below may have paid a small fee to be featured in this post and it may contain affiliate links. As always, EcoCult only features brands we believe are making the world a better place. Support EcoCult editorial by supporting them!
As it turns out, finding a 100% ethically-made and eco-friendly watch is pretty difficult!
However, there are several incredible watch brands that are making a positive impact in more ways than one, whether by using natural resources like wood and vegetable-tanned leather, incorporating eco-friendly technology or recycled metals, or giving back to eco organizations. Most of these brands carry both masculine and feminine designed watches, and a few brands have Apple watch straps available as well!
So whether you’re looking for a beautiful, durable, and high-quality watch for yourself or a gift for someone in your life, check out these ethical, sustainable watch brands we love!
[Also, check out our post about eco-friendly sunglasses if you’re in the market.]
The team at Nordgreen takes all of the steps possible to do things the Danish way. They work directly with Jakob Wagner, one of Scandinavia’s most heavily awarded designers, to ensure thoughtful, modern products. They work tirelessly to hold their materials, customer service, and the entire Nordgreen experience to the absolute finest standards. With each watch purchased, you can to choose which cause you would like to support. Access to clean water, a clean environment, and a full education should be a right for all, and it is important to the team at Nordgreen that their watches inspire a connection, not just between watch and owner, but amongst everyone. We recommend choosing from their stainless steel mesh or vegetable-tanned leather straps! Update: To push their sustainability initiatives further, Nordgreen now has a refurbished collection here!
JORD uses 13 different kinds of wood in their watches. On their website, you can read a little about the different types of wood, the country it’s sourced from, and some key points about the sustainability of the wood. Their watches are made with a unique, integrated steel case on the inside, which reduces wear and increases durability and longevity. They also carry wooden bands for Apple watch.
You probably know about the conventional watch brand, Mondaine, but you might not know that they now have a sustainable line of watches too. These straps are made from eco materials like recycled plastic bottles, cork, and castor bean oil. They’re also in the process of switching their factories to solar electricity.
This unisex watch is the minimalist’s dream, with a clean, white face and leather straps, which are available in different colors and interchangeable. These watches are made from the highest quality materials, with ceramic that’s treated in the U.S., Swiss movement and assembly, and vegetable-tanned leather that’s sourced from Tuscany and handmade in Amsterdam. Alden never ceases to get compliments when she wears this watch!
The wood used in Tense watches is 100% recycled or reclaimed and each watch is handmade in Canada. The watch itself is powered by premium Swiss movements or Japanese Miyota movements. Their hybrid collection is made from a combination of high-quality wood and natural leather. Tense watches are also completely customizable, so you can build it how you want and engrave it too!
TRIWA was started with the vision of changing the watch industry. Their high-quality watches are made in small batches and their straps are handmade from organically-tanned leather. Their latest line of watches are made out of recycled destructed illegal firearms! For this line, the brand partnered with a nonprofit that retrieves weapons from conflict zones and then the metal from those firearms is melted down and made into watch cases. A portion of the proceeds from this line goes back to supporting the victims of the same war-torn regions from where the weapons originally came.
SOLIOS watches are built specifically so they last a really long time. With a timeless design, they’re strongly against planned obsolescence. Therefore, their watches are made from premium stainless steel, sapphire-coated glass, and highly durable straps. Their leather is vegan, but different than most other vegan leather in that it doesn’t contain toxic PU or PVC (or any other harmful substances like flame retardants that we often find in textile materials). Instead, it’s a silicon-based leather with an insert made of recycled (and recyclable) plastic microfibers. Plus, SOLIOS watches are completely solar-powered, which means no more replacing batteries.
Eone timepieces are the only inclusive watches I’ve seen that are absolutely beautiful too. Accessible for blind people (or when it’s dark), you can tell time by sight or touch, with raised markers and two ball bearings that travel around the watch face in separate, recessed tracks: one for the minute, and one for the hour. The materials used for their various gender-neutral designs are titanium, stainless steel, ceramic, aluminum, leather, and canvas. They have a trade-in program for when you’re done with your watch, and they give back to organizations that work directly with blind individuals too.
DAN & MÉZ watches are hand made in Germany, where everyone gets paid a fair wage, insurance, and other rights that ensure safe and fair working conditions. The straps are made from Pinatex, a plant-based, eco-friendly leather alternative, and they’re currently working on implementing other innovative leather alternatives like mushroom, grapes, cork, kombucha, and wood. They use recycled packaging, too!
The name REC comes from the concept: Recover, Recycle, Reclaim. These men’s watches are made from reclaimed parts from old, iconic cars — like Porsche 911s, Ford Mustangs, and Mini Coopers. Each watch is different and each one tells a story. Their next project will be making recycled watches out of a Supermarine Spitfire aircraft from World War II!
With a passion for craftsmanship, each Lux Woods watch is handmade, which means each one is unique. Their watches are shipped in eco-friendly, recyclable packaging and each purchase gives back to FeedtheChildren.org and Plantabillion.org, an organization with the goal of planting a billion trees by 2025. They have bands for Apple watch available as well, and you can get them custom engraved, making for a lovely gift.
Citizen’s ECO-DRIVE collection uses light as it’s own power source, which could save you quite a few batteries throughout the lifetime of your watch! This technology can generate power from any type of light — natural, artificial, or even dim light. There is quite a large variety of styles for women available with this ECO-DRIVE technology! Unfortunately, however, beyond their ECO-DRIVE technology, Citizen doesn’t include a lot of information about the sustainability or transparency about the materials used in most of their watches.