Made from upcycled or biodegradable materials, these phone cases are as beautiful as they are eco-friendly.
If you happen to be getting a new phone, you'll need a case to go with it. The good news is, you don't have to make the same mistake I did and purchase a plastic monstrosity that came in layers of non-recyclable rigid plastic (#zerowastefail), because I've since done some research and discovered there are much more sustainable options available. Not only are the following phone cases made from biodegradable or upcycled materials, but they're also beautiful, unique, and durable.
Mosevic is a company from Cornwall, UK, that specializes in making high-end sunglasses from old jeans, but they've just launched a phone case out of the same innovative material. It's made by layering recycled denim with resin to create 'Solid Denim,' with all buttons accessible through soft plastic inserts. The makers describe the case:
"It is a cross between a tough pair of jeans and carbon fibre. You can give this case some serious abuse and it's going to pass with flying colours. Solid Denim is made from layers of recycled denim fabric, taken from damaged and discarded jeans infused with a high performance resin. It looks and feels like denim, whilst having the toughness, flexibility and shock absorbing properties of a strong plastic."
The case is available for iPhone X, 8, 8 Plus, 7, 7 Plus. Its regular price is £39.99 (approx. US$52/€45), but you can get one for free on Black Friday (Nov. 24-27) if you purchase a pair of sunglasses. More info on website.
Pela makes its cases from flax straw mixed with a bioplastic elastomer, a.k.a. "flaxstic." It is free from phthalates, BPA, cadmium, and lead, and meets EU standards for biodegradability in both an industrial composting facility, as well as (get this!) a backyard composter. Pela is a soft case designed to protect your phone from "scratches, everyday wear and tear, and the odd drop," and reviewers like how lightweight it is.
I have a friend who loves her Pela case, although she did warn against getting a white one if you ever put it in the back pocket of your jeans. This is something the company states on its website as well:
"Peach, White, Lavender & Rose Quartz should not be placed in jean/denim pockets or in places where dark dyes may be present as our naturally porous material is susceptible to staining our lighter coloured cases."
Pela comes in a wide range of colors for iPhone and Android. Starts at US $35.
Designed and manufactured in Elkhart, Indiana, the wooden cases made by Carved are works of art that happen to protect your phone, too. The greenest option is the Live Edge case, made from wood that is usually thrown away because of the cracks, knots, burls it contains; and yet, these are precisely the features that make it most beautiful. From the website:
"We don't take the straight grain, we start with the crazy stuff. The wood that is normally worthless for just about anything else. We resin-stabilize the wood to give it strength and stability. This unique process creates a single, solid piece that shows off the beauty of the wood inside.
We load this piece into our precision CNC and cut out the rough case. This rough case is then sanded smooth, all the way up to 1000 grit sandpaper. Our finishing process brings out the color and grain of the wood. We line the interior back and rails with natural cork to protect your phone casing from any scratches. The power and volume buttons are solid metal [made in Indiana, too]."
The case is protective under normal use, but Carved warns that if you use your phone under harsh conditions, the wood could react to drastic changes in temperature and humidity. Live Edge cases are available for iPhones 6 and newer, and Google Pixel. Approx. US $124.