Apple has strengthened its partnership with Hermès, with the luxury-goods maker introducing new woven, knitted, and “sporty molded rubber” bands for the Apple Watch, the latest iteration of which was unveiled at the tech giant’s Wonderlust event on Tuesday.
In the day’s running up to Tuesday’s event, Hermès removed from its own online store the leather bands for the Apple Watch 8. Combined with a claim by Bloomberg reporter and Apple tipster Mark Gurman that Apple was moving away from leather for environmental and sustainable reasons, speculation was rife about whether Apple might be on the verge of ending its partnership with the famous retailer.
But it seems as solid as ever. And leather is still part of Hermès’ band lineup, with plenty of designs starting at $1,299 reappearing on its own online store on Tuesday.
As for Apple’s online store, it also continues to offer the Apple Watch Hermès edition, but all of the leather bands have been removed and replaced with the previously mentioned woven, knitted, and sporty molded rubber bands, among other options.
Apple’s online store also offers new smartwatch bands using a material that it’s calling FineWoven, made of 68% post-consumer recycled content, which, the tech company was keen to point out, has a “significantly lower carbon footprint than leather.”
Highlighting its continuing work to improve its green credentials, Apple’s video presentation on Tuesday included an entertaining skit where the company’s top team, including CEO Tim Cook, has a meeting with “Mother Nature” at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. During the gathering, it’s mentioned that Apple is “phasing out leather” in its iPhone cases (later in Tuesday’s presentation it stated that the company will “no longer use leather” in any new Apple-made products).
At the end of the meeting, Cook stands up and says: “We’ve innovated and retooled almost every part of our process to reduce our impact on the planet. By 2030, all Apple devices will have a net zero climate impact.” Mother Nature stares hard at Cook before shooting back: “They better.”
Check out everything else unveiled at Apple’s Wonderlust event on Tuesday.