Apple’s new FineWoven material for watch bands and iPhone cases makes leather obsolete


Apple Watch Series 9 FineWoven band
Apple has a new material for its watch bands and iPhone cases.
Photo: Apple
Wonderlust 2023

To make its products more eco-friendly, Apple introduced a new material it calls “FineWoven” today. This material, which Apple says has a “suedelike” feel, will replace the company’s existing leather accessories for the iPhone and Apple Watch.

The move is another step in Apple’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

FineWoven is all about sustainability

Made from 68% post-consumer recycled material, FineWoven has significantly lower carbon emissions than leather, Apple said during its Wonderlust event. The company will use the FineWoven material in the new Magnetic Link and Modern Buckle bands for the Apple Watch Series 9.

Additionally, Apple redesigned its Sport Loop band to use 82% recycled yarn. Thanks to this, all new Apple Watch Sport Loops are carbon neutral. For the Apple Watch Ultra 2, the company introduced new carbon neutral Trail Loop and Alpine Loop bands that use 30% recycled materials.

Hermès bands are more eco-friendly, too

Apple Watch Series 9 with Hermès Kilim band
Apple Watch Series 9 with Hermès Kilim band.
Photo: Apple

Apple worked with Hermès on other environmentally friendly Apple Watch bands.

The latest Hermès band collection consists of four models, including two woven bands: Toile H and Twill Jump. Bridon is the first-ever knitted band for the Apple Watch, hand-braided with a bold chevron pattern.

Lastly, there’s Kilim, which uses sporty, waterproof molded rubber and features a deployment buckle.

New Nike bands also focus on recycled materials

The new Nike Sport Band is flecked with recycled materials
The new Nike Sport Bands are flecked with recycled materials.
Photo: Apple

As for the Nike Sport Band, it now uses 32% recycled fluoroelastomer. This includes colorful flakes made from excess bands, giving each band a unique look. The Nike Sport Loop uses recycled yarn from previous seasons.

All the new Apple Watch bands are available for preorder starting today, with retail availability starting September 22.

It will be interesting to see how the new FineWoven material withstands rugged use in daily life.


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