House of Marley makes bamboo headphones and speakers

House of Marley speaker
© House of Marley

And they don't stop there. Their products also feature recycled plastic, fabric, silicone, and more.

Plastic seems unavoidable when it comes to personal audio devices, like headphones and speakers; but one company called House of Marley is working to replace at least some of the plastic with natural and biodegradable materials. Their goal is to be more eco-friendly without compromising the performance of products we've come to see as an important part of modern life.

The materials used by House of Marley include bamboo, one of the world's fastest growing plants; REGRIND™ silicone, which is "a specially created material made by reclaiming and upcycling post-process and post-consumer waste"; FSC-certified wood; organic cork and cotton; vegetable-dyed leather; and recycled plastic and metals. In addition, it prioritizes the use of easy-to-recycle materials, such as aluminum and stainless steel.

House of Marley headphones© House of Marley

You might think eco-friendly electronics would look less attractive than the all-plastic varieties we're used to seeing, but House of Marley's pieces are quite lovely, while offering all the high-tech benefits we've come to expect -- Bluetooth connection, portability, powerful bass lines, excellent acoustics.

The company currently makes three kinds of headphones (in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear), six portable speakers, two home audio systems, a turntable, and two watches.

In an effort to promote reforestation, House of Marley donates a portion of sales to a non-profit called One Tree Planted that plants trees all around the world. To date, House of Marley has planted 25,000 trees.

The products and the ethos are lovely and admirable. One thing that is missing, however, is any mention of repair facilities and whether or not headphones and speakers can be fixed when broken. This is something I am increasingly searching for in companies that take a strong stance on ethics and sustainability. To me, a company that pledges to repair -- and builds its products to be taken apart easily for repair -- is a company that truly cares about the planet. I am still waiting to hear back from House of Marley on this question.

That being said, even if a product cannot be repaired (which is a major design flaw), it's probably still a better choice to opt for something made with more biodegradable and renewable materials than not, which would make these audio products a greener choice than conventional varieties. As far as sound quality goes, I have not used them myself and cannot compare.

Learn more at House of Marley.

House of Marley makes bamboo headphones and speakers
And they don't stop there. Their products also feature recycled plastic, fabric, silicone, and more.

Related Content on Treehugger.com