Apple doesn’t sell leather cases and accessories for its products as part of its environmental push. However, you still have options out there if you love the feel and appearance of leather on your iPhone and Apple Watch.
While many companies offer a selection of bands and cases for the socially-conscious iPhone owner, AppleInsider has searched and compiled a list of cases and straps. Our selection of ten examples, consisting of five cases and five bands, span from the trendy to the traditional, and from fun to fashion-forward.
For this list, we selected the accessories that are appealing, produced responsibly, and are available for purchase for the latest models of Apple Watch and the iPhone 15, along with earlier variants.
Most of the companies in this list go to great lengths to discuss the environmentally-sustainable ways that their leather is sourced or tanned. Nomad goes one better, with the Santa Barbara, California company achieving carbon-neutral status in 2020.
Nomad has two different types of leather sourced from the Netherlands-based Ecco and Chicago’s Horween. While the former forms a patina slowly, the latter does so at a much faster pace.
The Modern Leather case and folio cases are best described as rugged but remaining stylish, so your iPhone will look good while staying protected. This includes models dating back to the iPhone SE and iPhone 7.
One unique feature of Nomad’s site is that you can preview a patina effect on the case, simply by mousing over the case pictures to see a 100-day view.
Nomad’s styles for the Apple Watch bands cover a number of genres, such as Modern, Traditional, and Active. Its Active leather bands consist of Heinen leather from Germany, and employ stainless steel lugs and buckles as well as a fluoroelastomer rubber lining for protection.
Bands can be picked up in large and small sizes, with compatibility with all current and previous Apple Watch models. You can look to spend about $80 for the bands, or between $38 to $60 for the iPhone cases.
Another environmentally-focused producer, the London-based Mujjo opts to use recycled metal for the exterior buttons and rear camera bump. The leather is sourced from Europe, rated gold by the Leather Working Group, and uses a water-free DriTan tanning process.
Mujjo’s also achieved a “B Corporation” rating for its environmental standards and its repair program.
Unlike many other manufacturers, iPhone cases from Mujjo don’t fall into the categories of a traditional folio or using an interior wallet compartment design. It instead uses a small wallet compartment on the outside for some models, or a branded MagSafe wallet.
Standard and “shielded” versions are available for the cases, with the second using shock-absorbing material around the frame, giving it drop protection at up to five meters (15 feet) in height.
The cases have cut-outs at the base for the USB-C or Lightning jack, depending on the model of iPhone in use, as well as holes for the speaker, making the base more protected than usual.
Pricing for the iPhone 15 line ranges from $68 to $80, while older iPhone model cases go from $25 to $68.
The Australian Bellroy is another keen on the environment and ethics, and it too uses DriTan processes to reduce water usage. Unlike Mujjo, Bellroy also offers leather-like and leather-free bio-polymer case options.
There are styles including the typical ones, a “mod wallet” MagSafe version, or one with a flap holding up to three credit cards. But then there’s also the zip-up “phone pocket” that has room for more items, such as keys. .
The company also has a typical range of leather items for other Apple hardware, including two genuine leather Apple Watch bands and one leather-free version.
In terms of pricing, the bands go from $55 to $89, the iPhone cases range from $35 to $129, and “phone pocket” cases from $145 to $159.
Leather is a product that can come from many different animal hides, including unusual sources, but now there are industry standards to address the leather industry’s sourcing to make it humane, ethical, and sustainable. With these standards in place, manufacturers can go further afield in their designs from the traditional fare.
An example of this is Lucrin, which uses a variety of styles including smooth and granulated cow and calfskin, goatskin, real ostrich, “nubuck” leather, and “crocodile style.” While this article deals with iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands, the company does offer similar styles to coat other Apple products.
The usual wallet-style iPhone cases are joined by a range of sleeve cases that ship with and without pockets or pull tabs, as well as zip wallets, cross-body styles, lanyard pouches, and zip wallets. You could also get a more simple back-case that has leather on the rear and a silicone bumper frame, as well as a microfibre inner lining.
While you can get the cases for modern iPhones, you could also fit out earlier versions going back to the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE. There are also leather MagSafe battery pack covers and wallets, priced between $55 and $215.
The Apple Watch selection includes luxury bands and “double-tour” bands, from $175 to $349, while Ultra model bands go from $175 to $265. There’s also the unusual leather Travel Case that can hold the Apple Watch, a spare band, and charging accessories for the wearable, which Lucrin sells for $295.
The youth-fashion-focused brand Casetify doesn’t offer many leather options in its range, but it does sell recycled vegan-tanned leather instead of dealing with tanners, which makes the company among the most eco-friendly leather case makers around.
The accessory maker also offers customization of cases, with the iPhone 15 cases using a cut-out for the Action Button instead of a cover, as it uses for other buttons. Though the color options are limited, the personalization options are plentiful.
In the leather case collection, we’re fond of the Hogwarts Houses, which can certainly be handy for Harry Potter fans. The double-tour Apple Watch bands made with Italian leather are also a good choice for the wearable range.
Available for the iPhone 11 and later, the iPhone cases sell from $50 to $70. For the Apple Watch, expect to pay between $50 and $105.