Hot topic: Can a Leather Watch be Sustainable?

Credits: Kobla

There is a lot of criticism when it comes to the use of leather as a brand. The question then raises: is all that criticism valid or should we consider other aspects too? In today’s article KOBLA provides us with the story about the other angle of leather goods.

When talking about sustainability, these days the focus lays very much on the direct ecological attributes of the materials used. But there are more dimensions towards sustainability. Equally important to the materials used, is the lifespan a certain product has.

To put it simple: if you use eco-friendly materials, but their lifespan is 10 times shorter than other durable materials which might be considered to have less ecological attributes, you still have to use 10 times more natural resources to attain the same overall lifespan. And when taking into account this point of view, a lot of ecological regarded materials aren’t that eco-friendly anymore, like Pinatex or Faux Leather.

Short lifespans push consumerism

In practice this means that some ‘ecological’ materials attribute to the concept of fast fashion. Buy, replace, buy even more. Which is exactly the opposite direction where a sustainable fashion industry needs to be headed.

A holistic vision

Belgian made watch brand KOBLA looks at both the materials used and the lifespan it will serve, to make a balanced decision. Because there are currently no ecological products on the market with provide both wearing comfort and a long lifespan when being intensively in contact with human skin for long periods of time (which is the case for watchbands), we chose to stick with real leather and to make our leather production process as eco-friendly as possible.

This means they only use leather which comes as a by-product from meat industry. And, most importantly, their tanning process is vegetable based. This creates a huge gain in ecological footprint versus the most commonly used leather tanning method, which is chromium based and uses harmful chemicals to turn the skins into leather. And because the leather is vegetable tanned, the brand leaves all its natural characteristics intact. By not using any synthetic coatings there is nothing that reduces the wearing comfort. False leather is not breathable, which influences wearing comfort negatively.

Shop your favourite timepieces

At KOBLA you will find two beautiful collections for men and women, inspired by big cities in France and the US. The women’s collection has 3 pieces made from recycled steel: available in rosé gold, silver with a white or black dial. The men’s collection showcases 5 pieces made from vegetable tanned brown leather and is available with a silver, gold or black case and a white or black dial.


Whether you agree or disagree about the value of leather and it’s sustaibla angle. One thing is sure: KOBLA offers a beautiful collection that is loved by many men and women. And a timepiece is always a wonderful gift, as it gets worn almost daily and fits any occasion. So visit their website and enjoy some holiday shopping!

This article has been written in collaboration with Kobla

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