The recent G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, was notable for a lot of reasons, many of them unflattering to the United States. But one positive presence of note was the Awake G7 watch, a timepiece showcasing groundbreaking sustainability, which was passed out to 100 of the summit’s global leader attendees by French president Emmanuel Macron himself.
In January 2019, the Awake team was contacted in 2019 by the organization committee of the G7 summit. (They admit to thinking it was a joke, at first.) The committee wanted to heighten awareness with G7 participants of the vital importance of global action against threats to our environment. In true French fashion, they hoped to accomplish this by offering a symbolic gift to participants.
It was no coincidence that they looked to Awake for this. The brand specializes in sustainable fashion accessories that meet the exacting standards of haute couture. Their first “Origins” collection was made exclusively with recycled and recyclable materials — the limited-edition line sold out in just a few months.
But the Awake G7 watch represents a quantum leap in sustainable fashion technology. The opportunity to bring environmental issues to the forefront of international awareness inspired the Awake design team to build a watch that would symbolize France’s exhortation for world leaders to join together in lessening their impact on the planet.
With more than 22,000 tons of plastic waste left in the ocean every day, impacting the health of plant, wildlife, and climate and even leading to the formation of plastic continents, maritime pollution is becoming one of the globe’s most concerning environmental issues. The Awake team spent over six months collecting abandoned fishing nets from the North Sea to repurpose into material for the Awake G7 watch case.
The choice of fishing net as raw material was both a philosophical and technical choice for Awake. The repurposed material creates a lightweight, durable case with a surprisingly beautiful texture. And by removing the nets from the ocean, production of the watch helps prevent the 650,000 deaths of marine animals who get caught in abandoned fishing nets each year.
After being collected, the nets are broken down into granule form, which serves as the base material for the watch case. The watches are then assembled in a French workshop with 60 years’ experience in the timepiece trade.
How good can a watch made from recycled fishing nets look, you ask? Tres beau, as it turns out. The Awake G7’s 38mm case features a matte black sheen with a deep blue face patterned with ocean radar waves. Japanese solar movement provides ultra-coherent performance, anti-reflective glass keeps it highly functional, and the bracelet (with colors suggestive of the French flag) spun from recycled plastic bottles maintains the standard of sustainability.
Designed and developed to symbolize the urgency of a more responsible and environmentally friendly production process, the Awake G7 is a perfect example of the better approach to production that the world has been looking for.
The Awake G7 was presented to 100 of the summit’s leaders, particularly those attending the climate meeting. (So we know who isn’t wearing one.) But starting this month, the watch will be available to everyone. Priced at $332, the first 50 orders will be shipped at the end of September, with additional deliveries scheduled for the end of October.
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