Apple likes to position itself as a sustainable, environmentally friendly and generally proactive company. Solar panels sparkle on the roof of the headquarters, there are repeated reports of successes in the clean energy supply of suppliers, and product presentations refer to the recycled material. Nice and good. But what about AirTag holders, watch bands, iPhone cases and other leather accessories in the Apple Store? How does leather production and everything related to it fit into the image of the environmentally concerned iPhone maker? It does not fit. And an alleged leak on Weibo seems to indicate that Apple is gradually getting the hang of it.
Chapter in this post:
Apple cases for the iPhone 15 (Pro) are no longer made of leather
On the Chinese platform Weibo.cn, the user "UnclePan潘叔" reports that Apple will refrain from using leather as a material this year, at least with regard to its own cases for the new iPhone models. "As I said before, there is no leather case for the iPhone this year", the post says (translated). "Instead, there is a woven cover. I just checked with the factory. Look at the finish and the color. It's basically the same style […]" Dem Post attaches a photo showing five iPhone cases. Above all, the blue cover on top looks like it was woven.
UnclePan and other accounts are given a leap of faith
Secondary sources that also report on this topic claim that UnclePan and other accounts have already provided correct information from Apple's supply and manufacturing chain in the past. That's why the new woven iPhone cases are getting a lot of attention. The accounts have on Twitter or X @duanrui1205 and @MajinBuOfficial each shared the same four photos of a black and purple case. Although this is not an original from Apple's production line, it is a replica based on the corresponding specifications for the original. Leather should also be avoided here. In addition, the cases seem the Rumors about the deeper case and the action button to confirm.
Apple's leather accessories: Everything can be replaced!
If you search for "leather" in the Apple Store on Apple.com, you'll find AirTag keychains, various Apple Watch bands, the MagSafe wallet (the most unnecessary of all Apple accessories, in my opinion), numerous iPhone cases and iPhone folios, MacBook cases, iPad cases and iPad folios, and last but not least, a leather case for the Apple pencil. And third-party products as well. All of this can be replaced by offerings made from sustainable materials and recycled fabrics. And if it absolutely has to be a shade of brown as a color and a leather feel, then you can now fall back on numerous animal-free alternatives.
Leather is not a “clean” waste product from the meat industry
To anticipate comments with the bogus argument that leather is a by-product of the meat industry: no, it's not like that. Even if the slaughter of animals here and there serves both areas at the same time, this is not the case everywhere. Cows and other animals are often killed solely for their skin. The same is then not treated in a particularly environmentally friendly way. It is not for nothing that tanning and dyeing, which can be kept as cheaply as possible, is often outsourced to countries in which not too much attention is paid to occupational safety and environmental protection. Child labor and toxic chemicals are the order of the day. So there are more than enough reasons to leave leather behind; not just for Apple.
Here are two more documentaries (not for the faint of heart):
[On vacation] After graduating from high school, Johannes completed training as a business assistant specializing in foreign languages. But then he decided to research and write, which led to his independence. He has been working for Sir Apfelot, among others, for several years now. His articles include product introductions, news, instructions, video games, consoles and much more. He follows Apple keynotes live via stream.