Watches are still very much a functional style statement. Yes, we may have lots of smartphones and gadgets that have inbuilt clocks, but watches remain a popular fashion accessory. In this post I review sustainable watches from 2°EAST.
2°EAST is an ethical and sustainable watch company founded to answer in the affirmative this question: “Is it possible to produce a quality, everyday watch that doesn’t cost the earth? ”
2°EAST’s sustainable watches are affordable, retailing for $130 compared to $500 and up for traditional moderate to high end watches. 2°EAST’s are not cheaper because they are of lesser quality; rather, the pocket friendly prices are attributable to the company’s simplified business model. They sell directly to the customer online, no middle man and no brick and mortar store, which typically adds a markup to the price. Needless to say, one of the barriers to sustainability is price accessibility, so glad 2°EAST has on the market affordable sustainable watches for women, men and kids.
Sustainability issues in the watch industry and why you should opt for sustainable watches
According to the WWF, the watch and jewelry industry has significant adverse environmental impacts, mostly from the sourcing of raw materials. There is general lack of transparency on how the raw materials are sourced, including whether or not conflict-sourced and whether the extraction of the raw materials occasioned any environmental impacts such as deforestation, land mass movements and land and water pollution.
According to the New York Times, the watch industry lags behind the electronics industry in regard to transparency and sustainability in their respective supply chains. Many watchmakers are not able to confirm that minerals used in watches are conflict free or were not extracted in a way that harmed people and the environment. So a sustainable, pocket friendly watch is always going to be an easy choice for me and, I would imagine, for my readers.
Ethical and sustainable production at 2°EAST
At 2°EAST, transparency is a core value. This is reflected in 2°EAST’s sustainable sourcing agreement available on the company’s website. In this document, you will find information on the company’s sustainability and ethical commitments which include fair wages and a safe workplace for all workers in their supply chain. All these commitments meet the standard set by the International Labor Organization.
Many traditional brands and fast fashion brands outsource their manufacturing, which makes it hard to guarantee transparency in their supply chain. At 2°EAST, the watch assembly is done in one place, a factory owned and operated by co-owner, Ron. Specialized components like dials, crystals, hands and buckles are made in a city one hour away from Ron’s factory by a supplier that is also an ethical manufacturer. The rose gold used for some of the watches is from conflict free mineral sources.
To further its commitment to environmental protection, for every watch purchased, 2°EAST will plant 30 trees. It has partnered with Trees for Future, an international non-profit organization working to end deforestation and providing land regeneration support and training to communities.
I have had the pleasure to interact with Sally, a co-owner at 2°EAST, and she is truly passionate and committed to sustainability and transparency.
Versatility of design to maximize the value of your 2°EAST watch
In addition to being affordable high quality sustainable watches, 2°EAST’s watches are versatile, allowing you to maximize the value of your watch. Additional interchangeable straps can be purchased for around $36. Meaning that for a small additional purchase price, you essentially get two watches, a great deal in my book. The interchangeable straps come in the following options: leather, mesh and NATO.
2°EAST was generous enough to gift me one watch and two additional straps, basically three watches! I will review each strap below. My watch arrived set to my local time which I thought was a really nice touch and was in eco-friendly packaging made out of recycled cardboard – no plastic! The watch came with clear instructions and a simple tool that you will need to reattach your interchangeable straps If you lose the tool, Sally at 2°EAST will happily post another tool! Also, you actually use your finger nails to place and remove the spring bars and a small screwdriver or sharp object can be used to adjust the mesh strap. It’s relatively easy to change your straps but it will take a little getting used to the first time round. You also have a choice for white or black dials for watch in sizes 36mm or 40mm.
Rose gold mesh strap.
I chose this strap because I love rose gold and I opted for a white dial but it’s just as lovely with the black dial. With my tiny wrist, I have struggled with fitting watches in the past, so was pleased that the watch could fit me without need for adjustment at a store. As mentioned earlier, the gold plating used is from conflict free sources, and is applied using modern zero waste dry plating techniques which eliminates waste and the air emissions which are typical when traditional plating techniques are used.
I got the NATO strap in two designs, the Navy Books and Tiger print design. The NATO straps are made from 100% post consumer recycled PET (RePET). Plastic that would otherwise end up in landfills is diverted to make watch straps. This is my first NATO strap and I love the versatility of the print design they offer. The straps are low maintenance and super easy. I spoke with 2°EAST and they recommend you clean them by putting the strap in delicates bag and putting that in the washing machine.
While I don’t have a leather strap, I think it’s worth mentioning that the watches are made from the most eco-friendly leather option. This involves using biodegradable vegetable tannins instead of chemical tannins. 2°EAST leather watch straps are designed to last and therefore made from highest quality grade leather that ages beautifully.
I would like to thank 2°EAST for giving me the opportunity to review their sustainable watches and sponsoring this post.
Sponsored posts help keep Mspaulapresents.com up as a free resource for everyone interested in sustainable fashion and living.