By Lora O’Brien
It can be tough for vegans to shop for accessories; after all, everything from shoes to belts, and yes, even watches, are mainly made from leather. But it needn’t be the case today – especially given the myriad of great vegan leather alternatives, and the rising popularity of veganism.
When it comes to timepieces, sure, there are loads of styles with metal bands, but frankly, they can be a bit irritating on the skin – sometimes, they can even turn your skin green!
Luckily, there are plenty of skin-and-planet friendly materials like wood, cork and Piñatex, which not only look luxurious, but they feel amazing, too.
From sweet and girly styles to ones with a touch of rock chick chic, here are some of the best luxury vegan watches for women – and men- that I’ve found.
Olivia Burton kicked off in 2012 when two ex-fashion buyer BFFs struggled to find a luxury vegan watch brand they wanted to wear. Finding none, they co-founded Olivia Burton, a brand that is overflowing with personality, chic understatement, and femininity.
I love this pretty daisy watch – it allows you to have a bit of the great outdoors on your wrist at all times! Not keen on daisies? Bees, lilies and other flower designs are on offer, too.
Perfect for: Anyone who loves a unique accessory.
Votch strives to create unisex timepieces that not only inflict no harm to animals and have little impact on the environment, but also make a positive social impact. Every three months, they partner with a different charity, such as an animal shelter or anti-poaching NGO, and donate 10% of their profits as a thanks to them for helping animals and encouraging a kinder way of living. Chic and compassionate!
Perfect for: big hearted folks who love a minimalistic look.
3. LIAN & MEZ
LIAN & MEZ makes an ethical statement against the mainstream fashion industry, which seems unconcerned about animal violence or spewing out pollution and harmful toxins.
The watch brand uses a super eco-friendly material to create its chic bands: Piñatex. In case you’re unaware, this is made from pineapple leaf fibers which are a byproduct of the fruit harvest; no extra land, water, fertilizers or pesticides are required to produce this perfect leather substitute.
Perfect for: adding a touch of rock chic to any outfit
Cleverly named watch brand Time IV Change (TIVC) was born in 2016 in a small garage with a Kickstarter campaign set up to bring a vision to life. Their concept was so popular, they raised enough funds to launch their first range of watches just seven days into their campaign!
Fast forward to 2017, and now they’ve handcrafted a clean-lined collection dedicated to cruelty-free fashion and classic style.
Perfect for: the modern girl who loves elegant fashion.
Neff is a watch brand that was launched way back in 2002 by Shaun and Joe Neff in Southern California. Capturing the essence of sporty style, Neff has dozens of colour and style options that allow these watches to appeal to just about anyone.
Perfect for: the active people who like to stand out in the crowd.
Behind the alluring aesthetics of Eone, there’s a whole heap of compassion. Founder Hyungsoo Kim created the label to solve a very real problem – visual impairment. Having friends and family who are blind, Hyungsoo was only too aware of the lack of watches available to the blind, so he began to collaborate with designers and individuals with vision impairments to create a timepiece that everyone could use – whether they were sighted or not.
After Eone’s initial crowdfunding campaign, Hyungsoo was surprised when their initial goal was surpassed fifteen times over – a true testament to the fact that there is a market of shoppers calling for a watch to suit their needs.
Perfect for: anyone looking to make an investment in a classic timepiece, and of course, anyone with vision problems
This highly eco-friendly brand was born with the vision to take sustainable watches to the world to prove that vegans can be stylish, too!
WeWood’s sophistication and understated elegance ensures their customers not only have excellent timepieces, but are also doing their bit for the planet: a tree is planted for every purchase, and in just their first three months, the company planted 5,000 trees with American Forests, and they plan to keep on smashing those numbers year after year.
Perfect for: true eco-warrior princesses (and princes)!
VOID is a Swedish design company that remains true to their clean, minimalistic design heritage. They’re all about simple geometric shapes, basic colours and simple materials. Unfortunately, not all of their styles are vegan friendly, but they do offer a specific range that is free of silk, animal skin, fur and hair – much like the Classic Black Analogue Watch, below.
Perfect for: the sportier guy or gal who loves to accessorize.
Sprout Watches is dedicated to providing the world with eco-forward timepieces constructed from the highest quality materials. With their gems and other embellishments, Sprout watches may resemble wasteful luxury brands, but rest assured each piece is constructed from sustainable elements, such as biodegradable corn resin, bamboo, cork, and organic cotton. And as for the abovementioned bling, it’s mainly lead-free Swarovski crystals, not mined stones.
Perfect for the luxury lover who enjoys a bit of glamour.
ZIIIRO begun when Robert, based in Germany, shared his watch designs halfway across the globe with his pal in Hong Kong, Derick. In 2010, the duo launched ZIRRO with the mission of creating fun watches with a bold, futuristic vibe. Each piece is designed to survive the test of time, whilst also being unique in appearance and style.
Comprised of stainless steel and silicone, this watch displays two swirls that move inside the dial: the inner swirl represents the current hour, whilst the outer swirl displays the minutes, so there’s a continuous gradient movement going on with this watch.
Perfect for: lovers of science fiction and minimalist design.
11. Mens & Mez
This is a vegan, sustainable and ethical German brand creating high-quality, beautiful, classic watches for men and women. MENS & MÉZ stands for compassion, sustainability, and fashion: every single one of their unique timepieces is handmade in Germany featuring a vegan leather strap made from Piñatex, a truly sustainable material made of pineapple leaves..
Perfect for: those who love a classic style.
12. Jason Hyde
This Miami based watchmaker believes that “the best way to communicate with current customers in a new fashion watch brand is to do it in a sustainable, eco conscious way.” And that’s why their watch straps are made of recycled PET plastic, recycled waterproof paper, and cork. These are the most vegan-friendly materials, but they also use recycled wool, if you’re not against that. But zero – absolutely zero – leather is used to make these beautiful, accurate and luxurious watches.
Loving the rose gold hair trend? Here’s a vegan watch to match your ‘do! These wood watches by Jord are stylish enough for the wrists of CEOs and executives, and yet sustainable enough for activists and environmentalists.
Perfect for: trendy professionals
Main image: Votch
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