Swiss luxury watch manufacturer, IWC, continues to tackle its sustainability plan with the release of its new watch band made with a freshly developed bio-based leather alternative.
Focused on sourcing sustainable materials for its products, IWC, the brand has devoted itself to finding materials responsibly and minimizing their impact on the planet. Central to its mission are transparency, circularity and responsibility, which come through by crafting pieces that are created to last throughout multiple generations, ensuring they can be serviced for decades ahead, in the most responsible manner.
Dedicated to protecting the planet, in 2020 the brand set out nine goals to achieve by this year. It has now released a sustainability report analyzing where it stands regarding those targets. Even with the pandemic, IWC has managed to check many of them off the list and has made quite some progress with the rest. To ensure that its promise of transparency is observed the brand has also announced that the practice of releasing a sustainability report will be bumped up from being biannual to annual.
“We continue to move ahead in our sustainability journey, always questioning what more we can do in material innovation, energy use and societal impact to be even more sustainable,” explains CMO, Franziska Gsell. “We keenly understand our responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment, to work towards a more equitable society and to show that luxury does not need to mean excess. Nor be excessive.”
“Natural Fiber Welding and the entire MIRUM® team are excited to partner with IWC on the creation of the MiraTex™ straps,” said Oihana Elizalde, Vice President of the MIRUM® business unit at NFW. “This marks a major milestone in the IWC’s sustainability journey, and we look forward to future collaborations with the brand. Together there is an unlimited potential for innovation through our aligned commitment to sustainability and responsibly made luxury products.”
Made with MIRUM®, the eco-friendly leather alternative guarantees the straps live up to IWC’s strict standard of quality. This new material is a bio-based, 100% circular and recyclable textile that is made with FSC-certified natural rubber, cork powder, and mineral colorants. It doesn’t have any petrochemicals or plastic in its composition and also forgoes the tanning process used in traditional animal and synthetic leather processes. This new product has a great impact on minimizing the resources that are typically used and means it has a low carbon footprint.
“IWC understands that luxury consumers increasingly expect brands to show their commitment to sustainability and expect products to be made responsibly and with minimal environmental impact,” shares IWC in its press release. “For this reason, many watch lovers are searching for alternatives to leather straps without compromising quality, durability, or wearing comfort. IWC’s MiraTex™ straps are made with MIRUM®, a bio-based, plastic-free, circular material that meets IWC’s rigorous standards of durability, flexibility and aesthetic beauty.”
Following last year’s release of the TimberTex™ straps, which were made in Italy, and used 80% plant-based fibers sustainably sourced from European forests, the introduction of the MIRUM® collection is just the latest move in the Swiss brand’s sustainability journey.
The watch manufacturing expert has also appointed Gisele Bündchen as the brand’s Environmental & Community Projects Advisor. A new position within the brand’s roster, the supermodel brings to the table her past experience as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environmental Program.
With 150 years of technical experience, ever-growing innovations and its commitment to the planet, IWC is definitely an interesting brand to watch (no pun intended) out on its sustainable path.