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Swiss Luxury Watch Start-up Gets Prominent Addition

Swiss Luxury Watch start-up ID Genève sets out to produce sustainable luxury watches. Film star Leonardo DiCaprio recently became an investor.

The Swiss luxury watch brand ID Genève has a mission to produce completely sustainable luxury watches. The company quickly generated media attention with its claim. As the Financial Times reports, the watchmaker has now even attracted the attention of international stars. Actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio wants to invest in the start-up’s sustainable mission. He is part of a financing round worth two million francs, ID Genève announced on Tuesday.

DiCaprio has made a name for himself with his commitment to the environment. Since 2014, he has been a United Nations peace ambassador for climate change, and he invests his money primarily in companies with a sustainable business concept. ID Genève fits this bill perfectly, explains the actor: “The company is transforming the luxury watch industry by promoting ethically sourced and recycled materials and low-carbon processes in a circular economy.

DiCaprio’s name to catapult ID Genève forward

The watch industry has been slow to adapt to the growing need in society for sustainable products. ID Genève has set itself the goal of changing this. The funding round and DiCaprio’s name should help them get started. Co-founder Nicolas Freudiger expects their mission, the market’s receptiveness to low environmental impact products, and DiCaprio’s advocacy would catapult them forward. “In every industry, at some point, there is a tipping point where a new technology or a new brand becomes more interesting than others,” Freudiger said.

While two million francs is a small sum in the Swiss luxury watch industry, together with DiCaprio’s name, it would give ID Genève the opportunity to “build partnerships and join forces with like-minded people who want to make a difference to change an industry” Freudiger explained.

As ID Genève moves forward, the significance of its commitment to sustainability goes beyond just the production of watches. The funding infusion not only enables the development of eco-friendly timepieces but also supports the implementation of ethical and sustainable practices throughout the entire production process. By fostering collaborations and partnerships, ID Genève aims not only to redefine the Swiss luxury watch industry’s product standards but also to set a new benchmark for responsible and environmentally conscious business practices in luxury manufacturing.

Up to 165 times less carbon

ID Genève relies on low-carbon production for its watches. Its steel cases are made from watch industry waste and melted in a solar furnace with the help of solar radiation – so the carbon footprint is 165 times lower than conventional steel, according to ID Genève. The Swiss luxury watch straps are made from green waste collected from London parks. In addition, the watchmaker is working with British company Magical Mushroom to produce compostable packaging.

In addition to its pioneering efforts in sustainable production, ID Genève is actively engaged in promoting transparency and ethical sourcing throughout its supply chain. The company places a strong emphasis on traceability, ensuring that every component used in its watches meets stringent environmental and ethical standards. By fostering partnerships with suppliers committed to responsible practices, ID Genève aims to set a new benchmark for accountability in the Swiss luxury watch industry.

Sustainability concepts of other Swiss luxury watch brands

The start-up is not alone in its climate-friendly efforts; other Swiss watch brands are also embracing sustainability concepts. Breitling has committed to replacing its gold with fully traceable ethical gold by March 2025. Panerai wants to make its watch boxes more environmentally friendly, and Oris has also announced a program to reduce its carbon footprint. But DiCaprio says the industry needs to do more: “Sustainability should be a core value for every company.” That’s why he hopes other watchmakers will see ID Genève’s pioneering work as an opportunity to do more for the climate themselves, too.

Original article in German in 20min.ch

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