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Apple doesn’t sell the Hermes Apple Watch leather band anymore – and we think we know why

Leather is not exactly "sustainable"

apple watch hermes leather band
Hermes / Hermes

In the realm of luxury, Hermes is a distinguished name known for (amongst other things) its collaboration with Apple in creating exquisite Apple Watch bands. In recent days, Hermes appeared to remove all leather Apple Watch 8 bands from its site, sparking intrigue and raising questions about the underlying reasons; many even wondered if Hermes and Apple were ending their partnership. All Apple Watch Series 9 bands are listed on the Hermes website – including leather bands. Still, Apple isn’t selling the leather bands on its website, and there’s an excellent reason why.

Apple is making a push toward sustainability.

 At Apple, sustainability takes center stage

Apple’s unwavering dedication to eco-consciousness is one of the key elements behind this shift. As a global leader in technology, Apple has set high standards for lowering its carbon footprint and improving the sustainability of its products. This dedication applies to all their collaborations, including the one with Hermes.

Leather, while associated with luxury, poses environmental concerns. The leather production process requires a lot of resources and impacts the global carbon footprint. Apple’s commitment to sustainability means actively investigating alternatives to less eco-friendly materials. Per Digital Trends, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claimed Apple was ready to “move away from leather on iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands.”

A greener future for luxury

This transition from leather aligns with a broader industry trend where luxury and sustainability converge. Luxury brands are increasingly recognizing the importance of environmental responsibility in their products. Customers today are not just seeking luxury but also products that align with their values and the planet’s well-being.

The most recent Hermes collaboration lineup on the Apple website introduces four fresh watch band designs that draw inspiration from opulent fabrics. Along with the sophisticated Hermès Radial face, these watches are iconic and groundbreaking.

For instance, the Toile H draws inspiration from the distinctive cotton Hermes canvas initially presented in 1930. This durable and lightweight strap subtly acknowledges the brand’s edge painting technique. Furthermore, the Kilim Hermès band sets a new standard for adventurousness, blending supple and waterproof rubber with a molded design featuring the interlocking “H” pattern.

Apple Hermes sport watch white background
Apple is a pioneer in environmental responsibility

Apple has been a pioneer in environmental responsibility, as evidenced by several initiatives, including prioritizing renewable energy in their corporate offices and data centers, actively promoting recycling through a trade-in program where customers can receive credit toward new products by returning their old ones and minimizing packaging waste.

Most notable is Apple’s plan to make all products carbon neutral by 2030, and they’ve made Apple Watch their first. Apple Watches are now powered by clean electricity, made with 30% recycled materials, and shipped 50% or more of the way without airplanes; they even include the snazzy new “carbon neutral” logo that Apple rolled out.

As we move forward in an era where sustainability is paramount, this development reminds us that luxury and responsibility can coexist. It also sets the stage for future eco-friendly luxury tech accessories. The decision by Apple to part ways with leather is not merely a business move; it’s a statement about the importance of treading lightly on the planet while enjoying life’s finer things. With this in mind, the collaboration between Apple and Hermes is poised to enter a new era, one where luxury is redefined to include a commitment to a greener, more sustainable future.

Though Hermes will continue selling the leather Apple Watch bands on its website, don’t expect Apple to follow suit.

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Sarah Veldman
Sarah has been a freelance writer for over 7 years now, having started while she was living out of a suitcase and traveling…
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