At its Wonderlust event on September 12, Apple unveiled the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max in addition to the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, and a new AirPods Pro 2 model with USB-C charging.
Along with its new devices, Apple also unveiled new accessories, and this year as part of a wider push towards more sustainable Watch straps it also unveiled a new material for use in those accessories: FineWoven.
FineWoven is being introduced as part of Apple’s increasingly prominent commitment to the environment and sustainability. It uses post-consumer recycled material, and will see the disappearance of leather products from Apple’s entire accessory lineup, and the arrival of what it claims are its first 'carbon-neutral' products (a label that is both laudable and flawed).
iPhones and Apple Watches can now be kitted with FineWoven accessories, including MagSafe-compatible cases, wallets, and watch bands in a range of unique colors and designs. Some of those FineWoven phone cases have come under fire from some quarters for their durability, while others have been slightly more impressed.
When it comes to the Apple Watch, in addition to the introduction of FineWoven, Apple is also exploring environmentally-friendly materials with its partners, phasing out leather Hermès watch straps and joining forces with Nike to reimagine designer Apple Watch bands.
While Hermès’ existing range of leather straps are still available at its online store, the brand won’t be producing any new leather products for the Apple Watch. There are four products joining Hermès’ range of designer Apple Watch straps: two woven, one molded rubber, and Hermès’ first knitted band for Apple.
Nike, meanwhile, has produced two new takes on the strap: the company’s new rubber Sport Band uses a recycled type of synthetic rubber called fluoroelastomer, while its new Sport Loop uses excess material from the production of previous Watch straps.
Here are our top picks of the best colors and designs across the new and more sustainable ranges of straps for your Apple Watch.
Nike rubber Sport Band (Magic Ember)
- Price: $49 / £49 / AU$69
The design of the new Nike Sport Band has a particular freshness, adopting a chunky design quintessential to the sporty aesthetic. Available in different colors, the Magic Ember wrist strap stands out as the most eye-catching of the four new bands. Its speckled flakes of color are made from recycled rubber, with each band having a unique pattern. When paired with the latest Apple Watch Nike face the combo looks modern and practical, perfect for a high-intensity workout or brisk walk.
FineWoven Apple Watch band (Tan Modern)
- Price: $149 / £149 / AU$239
If you’re looking for a neutral style that doesn’t fade into the background, look no further than the FineWoven watch band in Tan Modern. Taking over as Apple’s primary accessory textile, FineWoven has a lower carbon footprint than the traditional leather accessories, and is made from 68% post-consumer products. It’s sustainable, and it looks good. Apple’s take on faux suede, FineWoven offers both durability and style, with Magnetic Link and Modern Buckle features along with three new shades: Mulberry Modern, Lavender Blue Modern, and Tan Modern.
Hermès Toile H (gold / ecru)
- Price: $349 / £299 / AU$549
While Hermès’ contributions to Apple’s sustainable focus are less high-profile than Nike’s, its decision to discontinue its line of leather products is a major first step. Toile H and Twill Jump are two woven wrist straps for the Apple Watch, and are inspired by luxury textiles. The Toile H is both durable and lightweight. In traditional Hermès colors, the contrasting gold and ecru shades are woven together to create an intricate pattern that’s smart and tailored – ideal for work meetings or formal occasions. The Toile H strap stands out as not just an accessory with class, but an ode to the Hermès brand.
Hermès Bridon (Kaki)
- Price: $349 / £299 / AU$549
The Bridon Apple Watch band is the first knitted accessory in the partnership. Accompanying Hermès’ woven Toile H and and Twill Jump accessories, the Bridon strap is “plaited to perfection”, and draws on the luxury fashion brand’s ties with equestrianism, a connection that’s best represented through its Kaki edition. The strap is hand-braided to create a 3D chevron pattern with a similar color-contrasting feature to the new Toile H. Apple’s new Hermès Radial watch face complements the Kaki strap perfectly, taking its innovative appearance to the next level.
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Rowan is an Editorial Associate and Apprentice Writer for TechRadar. A recent addition to the news team, he is involved in generating stories for topics that spread across TechRadar's categories. His interests in audio tech and knowledge in entertainment culture help bring the latest updates in tech news to our readers.