Products that spark joy and make you feel incredible shouldn’t have to cost the earth, nor should they cost us our Earth. Across industries, many brands are working to provide ethically-produced purchasing options for customers in the face of our planet’s climate crisis. However, sustainability should not limit style, and many still fail to meet consumers’ needs to express their individuality and style.
For Swedish audio electronic company Urbanears, expressing your uniqueness is never compromised. Style has always been at the heart of Scandinavian culture, as has the belief that form and function hold equal importance in design. Colour has remained an integral part of Urbanears’ DNA since its inception in 2009, originally launching with the ambition to re-energise the tech industry’s dull and dreary offerings.
In Spring this year, it released the Urbanears Boo range, repurposing recycled plastics – including discarded water bottles and broken air conditioner units – into vibrant wireless earphones and cases. Characterized by a clean and minimalistic design, the range comes in two different models, tailored to each individual’s preference – Urbanears Boo, made from 97% recycled plastics, and Urbanears Boo Tip from 91%. The range comes in a variety of colours that are playful yet subtle, offering muted tones ideal for every occasion use, including Charcoal Black, Almost Green, Slightly Blue, and the newly added shade, Dirty Tangerine.
The unique mix of materials used to create the Boo range came from relentless experimentation at Urbanears, who worked with a local recycling partner to produce a distinctively durable material that protects the earphones’ sound system while also being malleable enough not to break or bend. Thanks to this, Urbanears can boast it is one of the few brands that can create almost any colour in recycled plastics, proving there’s no end to the material’s creative potential.
“Operating in an industry that is yet to adapt to the global climate crisis, we feel that we have a responsibility to act,” says Emelie James, Sustainability Manager at Urbanears. “We owe it to consumers to deliver more sustainable products that are easier on the planet, without having them compromise on sound experience, design or product features. Urbanears Boo is definitely the first, humble step of the way.”
What’s more, as the Urbanears team continued working on its recycled plastic, they discovered that the recycled material was beautiful on its own. They tested creating a pair without any colour pigment – the result, a milk-white semi-transparent finish taking its colour from the whites and pale blues of its repurposed matter. Loving the pearlescent finished product, this June they released the ‘Raw’ colour scheme.
This work marks just the beginning of Urbanear’s long-term sustainability goals, including becoming climate neutral by 2030, as well as working towards a circular business model, climate-neutral transport and forest-friendly packaging.
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