Ready to spend some quality time contemplating a new watch purchase? Here are our top sustainable watches for every style and budget. From vegan timepieces to watch brands that give back – these eco-friendly styles for men and women are ones to watch!
To support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. This means that Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items purchased through these links.
A host of watch manufacturers have stepped up and now offer a raft of sustainable options when it comes to timekeeping. From brands that use recycled or sustainable materials to cruelty-free and vegan brands and preloved designer options, there are a host of choices out there catering to a wide range of different budgets and styles.
The Best Sustainable Watches
To help you avoid a time-consuming hunt for the best brands, I’ve rounded up what I think are the best sustainable and eco-friendly watch brands out there right now.
I’ve taken a look into their materials, manufacturing processes, their packaging and their giving-back policies to help you pick the right watch that matches your personal ethics.
The Sustainable Watch Company – Best For Wooden Watches
The Sustainable Watch Company* is our top choice for wooden watches. Handmaking all of its stylish watches and straps from recycled natural wooden furniture, this helps to reduce furniture waste and the need to cut down trees.
Being made from wood, each watch and strap has a unique grain pattern and colour tone. This means each watch is a one-of-a-kind timepiece – no one else will have a watch exactly the same.
As well as avoiding the need for virgin wood, the Sustainable Watch Company also plants a tree with every order you make.
The Sustainable Watch Co maximises its use of sustainable materials. As such all of the wood used to create the watch face and straps are handmade from recycled natural wooden furniture.
The Sustainable Watch Co doesn’t use any leather in its products. Meanwhile, the glues used are vegan-friendly, making its watches fully vegan-friendly.
The Sustainable Watch Co manufactures its watches in China. I reached out to the brand for more information about pay and working conditions, and Rich, the founder, told me “the facilities have been vetted and are held to EU standards and certifications, alongside living wage standards. All staff are paid a salary of 1.7 to 2.5 times higher than the basic salary in Shenzhen depending on their role“.
The Sustainable Watch Co supports reforestation projects – planting a tree for every order in collaboration with Ecologi – an organisation that funds climate projects. Through this partnership, it also offsets 100kg of carbon with every order – double the carbon generated by every order it ships.
The Sustainable Watch Co uses eco-friendly packaging to package every order. Each watch is presented in a recyclable cardboard box, whilst paper postage packaging is used to send out your order.
Votch – Best For Cruelty-Free & Vegan Watches
Votch* is a UK watch brand, that specialises in making cruelty-free and vegan watches for men and women which combine style and conscience.
Using ethical and sustainably sourced materials, Votch uses the latest innovative materials to make its durable and sustainable watches. In doing so, Votch produces high-quality watches which inflict no harm to animals and has the smallest impact on the environment it possibly can.
For a clever touch, all Votch watch straps are interchangeable. This means you can switch up your look quickly and easily without having to buy multiple watches.
Some Votch watches are made from recyclable stainless steel, whilst others are made from vegan EnviroLeather. Whilst vegan leather isn’t an environmental panacea, Votch strives to use vegan leather which has the smallest environmental impact possible when using plastic. This means the vegan leather used by Votch is:
- Contains no plasticisers
- Passes CAL 01350 – the standard for low VOC emissions
- Has no added antimicrobial chemicals
- Has no flame retardants
- Contains no heavy metals
- Includes recycled and renewable materials
Votch also trials the latest material innovations. As such, it works with a range of fabrics made from non-traditional materials. This includes Piñatex, a by-product from the pineapple industry; and AppleSkin, a by-product from the apple juice industry.
Votch manufactures all its watches in Shenzhen, China.
The Votch team have personally visited and vetted the factory. It guarantees the factory pays fairly, offers promotion opportunities to staff and offers safe working facilities.
Every quarter, Votch partners with a different charity. Here it donates a percentage of its profits made during this time to that quarter’s charity. Charities supported include animal charities such as Off The Plate Sanctuary. This charity rescues, rehabilitates and provides life-long care to unwanted, mistreated or neglected farm animals.
All of Votch’s sustainable watches are packaged in recyclable materials for a low environmental impact.
Find Votch at Wearth*, ranging in price from £120 – £135 – in a range of vegan-friendly styles for men and women
Solios Watches – Best For Solar-Powered Watches
Solios Watches* are our top choice for solar-powered watches. This is because each and every Solios watch has a solar-powered movement. With zero need for battery replacement and zero need for maintenance, it’s the kind of watch you can buy once and never need to buy again.
Each solar cell can hold a power reserve of 6 months after sitting under the sun – or artificial light – for 2 hours. So even if you don’t wear your watch every day, you can let it sit in a drawer for a few days without worrying. Not that you’ll want to take these stylish watches off. But the option is there if needed!
As a B-Corp, Solios uses sustainable materials to make its solar-powered watches. This includes high-quality certified recycled stainless steel and vegan leather. Solios says this silicone-based alternative is incredibly durable and contains no harmful components such as PU, PVC, solvents, or toxic by-products. It is also recyclable and doesn’t use plasticisers, phthalates, heavy metals, or Bisphenol.
Solios says its vegan leather is more resistant than genuine leather. It also says it is waterproof, dust-resistant, ink-resistant, skin-friendly, and animal friendly.
Unlike a standard quartz watch that works with a single supplier, solar watches are a little more complex. This means that Solios works with partners all over the world, working with global partners that have been carefully selected and visited personally by the Solios team.
The solar technology and the movement are made in Japan, and the watch face is then assembled in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, suppliers in Switzerland and the United States manufacture the straps, while the cardboard packaging is made in Quebec. Lastly, Solios receives all the components at its Montreal office, where it proceeds with the final assembly of the watch.
For every Solios watch sold, one acre of rainforest is protected, through its partnership with The Rainforest Trust. This charity works to protect wild lands for people, animals and the climate.
Solios also supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charity that grants life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.
Solios only uses recycled, reusable or repurposed packaging. This is all part of its work to completely eliminate single-use plastic across its entire supply chain.
Find Solios Watches in the UK at Veo*, where they range in price from £225 to £280, with free delivery. You can also get 10% off your first order at Veo when you sign up for the Veo mailing list.
Vestiaire Collective – Best For Preloved Designer Watches
If you covet a designer watch, but it’s out of your budget, then try Vestiaire Collective*. This secondhand resell platform for luxury designer goods and certified B-Corp is the perfect place to pick up a sustainable designer watch at preloved prices.
Here you’ll find designer watches for both men and women at a fraction of the retail price. From luxury brands such as Gucci, Hermes, Chanel, Rolex and Louis Vuitton, to other more affordable designer brands, it’s a great place to pick up a planet-friendly bargain.
You can set your budget, and filter by brand, colour, condition, materials, and watch mechanism to find the ideal watch for you.
Removing The Counterfeit Risk
Whilst buying preloved designer pieces online on some platforms can be risky, Vestiaire Collective stamp out the trade of counterfeit goods.
Vestiaire Collective has a rigorous process of authentication. The trained authenticators use image analysis to vet and pre-authenticate every item before it goes live on the platform. The team also check the reliability of the seller.
And for extra peace of mind, you can pay a £15 physical authenticity fee at the point of purchase. This means that when you buy an item, the item first goes to Vestiaire Collective, where the skilled team physically authenticate your purchase in person, to ensure you are only getting the real deal.
The team also makes sure that your item is exactly as the seller described it, including the condition, so there are no nasty surprises on arrival.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you to find an ethical and eco-friendly watch. If not, do check back later. I keep all my ethical shopping guides constantly updated with any new eco finds.