Sprout is a watch manufacturer making some of the most unique timepieces on the market. They began as an off shoot of a much larger company, Armitron, that had been making popular watches for over half a century. The founders of Sprout eco friendly watch saw first hand the amount of toxic materials that went into creating the average watch. There was also a lot of waste in the manufacturing process that ended up in landfills and dumps and they thought that they could do something about it. Inspired by the environmental movement of the early 1970’s and the establishment of Earth Day, they decided to start a new brand. Sprout would not only eliminate the toxic materials used in production of these watches but also make them out of materials that are over 80% ecologically sustainable.
What are they made out of? Sprout watches are, largely biodegradable. That means, when thrown away, parts of the watch can be broken down by micro-organisms and returned to their original, natural compounds. These parts are made out of materials that include corn resin, cork, bamboo and organic cotton. Corn resin is the premiere material in Sprout watches. It is what the bezels and backings are made of. Corn resin has the same durability and longevity as oil based plastics, but when composted it is 99% biodegradable, meaning it turns back into carbon dioxide and water all within one year. That is very impressive considering the hundreds and thousands of years it takes oil based products to break down, and even then into toxic compounds.
Cork. Sprout also uses cork collected as scraps left over from companies who manufacture, sell and distribute stoppers to wineries. They use the cork to make the watch faces and the straps on some models. Cork is a naturally occurring material that grows under the bark on certain Oak trees. It can be harvested every ten years without any damage being done to the tree. And these trees can live up to 250 years! Cork can also be up-cycled from wine bottle stoppers into all sorts of useful products including hot plates and back splashes as it is mold and mildew resistant.
Other materials: Sprout also uses conflict-free diamonds on the faces, mercury-free batteries, Unites States Fish and Wildlife (USFW) certified Mother of Pearl, Tyvek, and Swarovski Crystals. Swarovski crystals do not use lead or other toxic elements such as mercury in their manufacturing process. This helps keeps these highly carcinogenic materials out of the waterways where they so often end up due to industrial activity. Tyvek, which is most often associated with building construction, can be safely incinerated or landfilled with minimal damage to the environment.
Mercury-Free Batteries. Mercury is a highly dangerous neurotoxin that is also a by-product of many industrial activities. Sprout only uses mercury-free batteries in their watches and this helps keeps this lethal element out of the land and water that we depend on to survive. Additionally, the Mother-of-Pearl inlays that Sprout uses are certified by the USFW, which regulates harvesting and trafficking of this natural resource in accordance with international law and standards. Sprout also uses all recycled and recyclable packaging that is free of phthalate, a highly toxic carcinogen that is found in a lot of packaging.
Sprout’s commitment to producing a high quality watch that is also kind to our environment sets them apart from other watch manufacturers. Add to that their fashion forward sense and affordability and it will definitely be worth your time to check Sprout out.