Apple may discontinue leather bands for Series 9 Apple Watch.

Apple may discontinue leather bands for Series 9 Apple Watch.

Apple’s Sustainability Push: Goodbye Leather, Hello Eco-Friendly Options

Late last month, rumors started swirling that Apple plans to eliminate leather cases for its upcoming iPhone 15 lineup. Now, reports are emerging that suggest this move towards sustainability may also extend to Apple Watch bands. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple will “begin moving away from leather on its Apple Watch bands as well.” This decision raises questions about the future of Apple’s partnership with luxury brand Hermès.

Adding fuel to the fire, Gurman reveals that Apple recently offered its employees heavily discounted Apple Watch Hermès leather accessories and leather link bands, signaling its intentions to clear inventory. The discounts were significant, reaching up to 90% off retail prices. For example, bands that would normally retail for $850 were being offered to staff for just $85. This move suggests that Apple is actively phasing out leather products in preparation for a more sustainable future.

But it’s not just Hermès bands that are on sale. Gurman also notes that other accessories, including many Solo Loop bands in outgoing colors and the MagSafe charging dock, are being deeply discounted to clear stock. These markdowns further support the idea that Apple is clearing the way for new products to replace these outdated options.

While it’s still unclear which MagSafe charger Gurman is referring to specifically, the overall message is clear: Apple is embracing change. And if recent rumors are any indication, it seems that the tech giant is not just axing leather products but also venturing into new materials.

One such material that has been making waves is a woven fabric alternative, dubbed “FineWoven.” Rumors suggest that Apple intends to offer these fabric-based cases for the iPhone 15 lineup. Replicas of these cases have already made their way online, fueling speculation about their imminent release.

Using fabric-based materials as a leather alternative has several benefits. First and foremost, it has a smaller carbon footprint than traditional cowhide. By moving away from animal-derived materials, Apple can reduce its environmental impact and promote sustainability. Additionally, fabric-based cases offer a unique aesthetic that appeals to those looking for a more stylish and eco-friendly option.

Gurman predicts that Apple’s commitment to sustainability will take center stage during its upcoming “Wonderlust” event on September 12th. This event is expected to showcase not only the new iPhone 15 lineup but also the Apple Watch Series 9 and a second-generation Apple Watch Ultra, among other potential new products. With sustainability playing a larger role, Apple is likely to highlight its efforts to create a greener future for tech consumers.

As we eagerly await Apple’s event, it’s clear that the company is taking bold steps towards a more sustainable future. By phasing out leather and exploring eco-friendly alternatives, Apple is setting an example for other tech companies to follow. With its innovative designs and commitment to the environment, Apple continues to demonstrate its dedication to pushing boundaries in both technology and sustainability.