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Brief Published: 25 Mar 2021

Luxury Watch Brand Launches Paper-Based Straps

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IWC TimberTex straps

As part of its commitment to responsible watchmaking, Swiss manufacturer IWC has broadened its offering of non-leather watch straps with a new alternative, derived from paper and recycled materials.

Developed with reduced environmental impact and ethical/eco-friendly sourcing in mind, the TimberTex straps consist of 80% cellulose fibres from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified trees. These fibres are processed using traditional papermaking techniques, and coloured (blue, black or brown) with natural, plant-based dyes.

“We wanted to have something vegan and green, a material made of natural products,” says Ivo Malacarne, IWC’s bracelets and accessories manager. “And so, instead of examining artificial leather and its predominant usage of plastic, we focused our research on the processing of new or recycled paper.”

The result is a supple and organically textured material, akin to traditional leather and other vegan substitutes – see more innovation in this field in Material Direction: Redressing Leather.

IWC’s paper-based straps are finished with recycled microfibre padding for added comfort and recycled thread, creating a highly durable and resilient (including water-resistant) product that is suitable for both everyday and athletic accessories. 

TimberTex joins the brand’s existing sustainability accolades, including its responsibly sourced leather, fabric, rubber and steel bracelets, and fully traceable and responsibly sourced gold and platinum. See What the New Jewellery Consumer Wants and CMF Industry View: Jewellery for more sustainably focused jewellery and materials. 

Paper is regaining significance within numerous industries because of its accessibility, versatility and environmental advantages – see Material Direction: Revaluing Paper for further insights.

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