TRANSFORMING WASTE INTO WATCHES
You know the saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure"?
The fashion industry is no stranger to trash, disposing of more than 90 million tons of solid waste per year, and accounting for 4 percent of all global waste. So where does all of this waste come from? While we may consider placing the blame on fast fashion consumers, who have been conditioned to toss out clothing as soon as it's no longer in style or gets slightly damaged, most textile waste actually comes from the manufacturing process when the shape of a piece of clothing is cut out of a sheet of fabric, and the scraps are simply tossed out.
Now here's the crazy thing ... A lot of the so-called "waste" produced during this cut-and-sew process is in perfectly good condition. It's time that we shift our mindset about what is considered trash vs. what can be transformed into something we can treasure, and one company that's already making this shift is Canadian-based watch company, BERG+BETTS.
I recently discovered BERG+BETTS through Instagram and immediately fell in love with their collection of classic and sustainable leather watches. How are leather watches sustainable, you ask? Well, unlike your typical leather watch, these timepieces are handcrafted out of surplus leather off cuts that would otherwise go to waste... You know, those small scraps that fall to the floor as a shoe or purse maker cuts out their pattern. So instead of producing more textile waste during the manufacturing process, BERG+BETTS utilizes already existing "waste" to create sophisticated, timeless watches, so you don't have to sacrifice style for sustainability. I call that a win, win.
In my opinion, ethics are just as important as sustainability – and they often go hand-in-hand. I admire BERG+BETTS' focus on transparency and commitment to ensuring a positive and healthy environment for their workers. All of their watches are assembled and designed in their Canadian headquarters, and the watch parts are ethically made by Sedex member suppliers in Dongguan, which are regularly audited on labor standards, health and safety, environment, compensation, and business ethics.
Versatility is key for me, so I chose the Round Gold and Black Watch, which works with just about every piece in my wardrobe. It's casual enough to throw on with a cozy sweater and jeans for a lazy day around the house, and sophisticated enough to polish off a day-in-the-office look. I even brought it with me on a recent work trip and it paired perfectly with all of my office attire. After a handful of wears, I can already tell this watch will become a treasured piece in my wardrobe.
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Big thanks to BERG+BETTS for partnering on this post and for gifting me this stunning timepiece! As always, all opinions are my own and I selectively work with brands that share the same values when it comes to ethical and environmental responsibility.