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Courtesy of Pela
Multiple smartphones supported
Not totally attractive
For eco-friendly smartphone cases, no other brand beats Pela. Made from a proprietary material called "Flaxstic," Pela uses compostable plastics mixed with flax straw to create a case you can toss into the recycle bin without worry. Pela’s cases fit a variety of popular smartphones, including every iPhone from the iPhone 5 onward, everything from Samsung’s flagship camp starting with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note 8, the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 and all its variants, and even Huawei’s P30 family.
The formula is comprised of 35% renewable material and 10% flax to meet U.S. and EU composting standards, with the remaining 55% being non-renewable resources. Pela says the eventual goal is a 100% biodegradable smartphone case. Until we get there, one benefit of this hybrid approach is Pela’s case doesn’t easily deteriorate. The company claims that only a true composting environment will be enough to break it down, so you don’t have to worry about it ever crumbling in your pocket.
Courtesy of Pad & Quill
FSC-certified wood and full-grain leather options
Variety of styles
Exclusive for Apple lovers, Pad & Quill’s line of iPhone and iPad cases will satisfy your need for elegance without you feeling bad about Earth’s part in crafting them. Everything in its store is handmade; except for the polycarbonate components that accompany some of these designs, there are no factories and few chemical processes involved in their production. Every product is as unique as nature intended.
Pad & Quill offers both full-grain leather and FSC-certified wooden smartphone cases in a variety of styles, including folio, wallet, and bumper, each filled with the natural lines, dimples, and bumps that occur in aging. There are cases to fit everything between the iPhone 5 and iPhone 11, plus products for iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook. The company claims to source its organic materials from vendors who meet their standard of environmental responsibility.
Pad & Quill is easily the biggest name on this list, making it even more remarkable it continues to promise these values despite its growing scale. Started by a happy couple out of a stuffy basement, Pad & Quill is one easy company for environmentalists to get behind.
Beautiful resin designs
Recycled skateboard cases
Supports the most popular smartphones
Costs a bit
Carved specializes in handcrafting wooden smartphone cases, with the company’s most dominant line featuring resin-laden designs inspired by satellite imagery of Earth. The aptly named Satellite Series starts as hand-machined wood before a dollop of beautiful resin fills its cracks and crevices. They sand it down, cut around, and polish it all up, with plastic only added to aid in smartphone protection and utility. The result is stunning.
Carved has other cases derived from a variety of woods and without the resin, such as a strong walnut burl, and even one made from eucalyptus. Some feature prints from partnered artists for those who still appreciate the human element. We’d be lying if we said the company’s Sk8 series didn’t add to our reverence, however. That wood comes from recycled skateboards to provide not just a unique and often badass look, but peace of mind that you’re contributing to responsible recirculation of unused materials. Carved makes cases for iPhones, Samsung Galaxy smartphones, Google’s Pixel series, and Huawei’s flagships.
Uses highly sustainable materials
Every sale contributes to earth
Only for iPhone
Another exclusive for iPhone users, Reveal is one company you should know in the realm of environmentally-friendly cases. The materials of choice for most in its selection are bamboo or cork, both growing increasingly popular as sustainable materials for many products. There’s also natural hardwood for those who aren’t looking for the added exoticism.
Reveal is all about elegance and style, and that’s what you get no matter which case you choose. Affordability is another common trait as they’re typically available under $30. Most of them come in bumper form, but wallet and folio form factors are available for those who need more utility.
Head to Reveal’s website and you can put in a custom order to buy the exact case of your dreams. Buying from Reveal also supports reforestation efforts. It plants a new tree with every product sold through a partnership with American Forests. Over 100,000 trees have been planted as a result, so make your purchase knowing you’re doing the world and everyone in it a huge favor.
EcoQuote is another sustainable case maker favoring bamboo and cork for its products. Truthfully, it doesn’t seem style is a concern in crafting these, but the cases use less overall plastic for that aesthetic sacrifice. The basic cork cases, in particular, were designed to grip your smartphone on their lonesome instead of using a TPU bumper.
EcoQuote prefers to let the buttons and ports breathe, likely for the sake of cutting down on plastic waste. The only added material is a soft liner inside to ensure it doesn’t scuff or scratch your phone. The more elaborate cork designs in EcoQuote’s lineup use TPU, and every bamboo case is sporting the stuff, but it’s all minimalist no matter which route you go.
EcoQuote offers cases for the iPhone 5 through the iPhone XS Max, Samsung Galaxy S7 through Galaxy S10, and even Samsung’s mid-range Galaxy J7, with multiple styles available for each phone. Your bill will never be much more than $30 for a single case, so shop away.
Beautiful wood designs
Stock designs too intense
Engraver’s Dungeon is one very cool store. Based out of Spain, this shop makes wooden cases for all the top smartphones with some of the most elaborate designs out there. You can attribute the artwork to Diego Scaglia Rat, a master engraver who handles every stage of the creative and production process. His work is edgier than most, with skulls and skeletons being a common theme in several of his pieces. It’s dark stuff, but he also has cases inspired by the likes of Cthulhu, Predator, Alien, and the Star Wars universe.
Even better, custom designs are available by reaching out if the standard options aren’t doing it for you. You’ll pay a premium for that service, but you can’t put a price on individuality. Engraver’s Dungeon makes no claims of ecological responsibility, but all of its products use sustainable wood, and that’s enough to earn it a solid spot on this list. You’ll find cases fitting the latest iPhones, Samsung Galaxy smartphones, and Huawei flagships.