Zenith Does Upcycling Right With New Sustainability Initiative
The watchmaker to offer watch straps made from excess couture fabric.
Whisper it, but the call for greater sustainability in watch production will remain a good-to-have, but otherwise lower priority concern unless there is money to be made from it. We are not knocking the watch brands that have taken intentional steps and invested heavily in making changes to their manufacturing process and, for some, producing watches from recycled materials. But how far can these initiatives go before they become a legit paradigm shift? And, save for preaching to an informed few, how can a brand get their customers interested in sustainable watchmaking without having to resort to low-key guilt tripping?
Zenith might just have the answer. The brand has partnered Nona Source, an LVMH start-up that transforms excess fabrics from the luxury conglomerate’s fashion and leather houses into watch straps. So in a way, watch lovers are still getting their fill of luxury trappings in their purchases and not wondering about, say, the lasting efficacy or beauty of vegan straps that are just as costly (shallow, we know, but it is a consideration).
A start-up established by LVMH’s DARE (Disrupt, Act & Risk to be an Entrepreneur) program, Nona Source is an online resale platform that “re-values deadstock fabrics from the most exclusive luxury fashion Maisons” that are then repurposed by their buyers.
For a start, Zenith will introduce the re-luxed materials in its Defy Midnight collection for women. Seven handmade straps featuring a variety of coloured and textured fabric on rubber backing are on offer, spanning vanilla-white moleskin woven cotton to pink denim, with the myriad options ideally suited to the watches’ quick strap-change system. Ideas to introduce such straps to other collections are in the pipeline.
“Working with Nona Source is exactly the kind of responsible, ecological yet also luxurious kind of innovation that we seek at the Zenith Manufacture. This initiative helps in upcycling luxurious materials in a new context,” says Zenith CEO Julien Tornare.
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