With 2021 drawing to a close, we want to thank our loyal community for the ongoing support. Between navigating another year with COVID-19, responding to global supply chain issues, and more, it’s definitely been a challenging year. But it’s also been an exciting one.
Last week, our CEO and Co-Founder, Igor, spoke to the team about the progress we’ve made so far and the future we want to map out for ourselves. We want to share this with you too, our community. You’re as much a part of the journey as we are.
OUR SUSTAINABILITY JOURNEY SO FAR
A big focus for us this year was sustainability. We challenged ourselves to bring considerations of sustainability to all our conversations, from product development to operations to our overall business direction, and be more transparent about our progress and challenges along the way.
We shared a mid-year update a few months ago, and here’s another one. We hope that constantly checking in, sharing both the highs and lows, and holding ourselves accountable to our community and the wider industry can bring us together to inspire a collective way forward.
In our last sustainability update, improvements to our Stow collection were still underway. We can happily say that since then, all polyester has been replaced with rPET, made of recycled plastic bottles. It maintains the quality and durability of virgin polyester but takes 50% less energy to produce.
For newer products, like our cases and accessories for iPhone 13, using recycled materials is our new norm. Standardizing our use of rPET, recycled polycarbonate and TPU, and other more sustainable substitutes to our materials is a small change in our operations, but it’s a start.
As a tribute to the iPod, the visionary Steve Jobs, and Apple’s revolutionary impact on the way we live with our devices, we reimagined the iconic iPod Sock for 2021. Modernizing the iPod Sock meant not only recreating it for this generation’s music essential but aligning it with the shift towards more sustainable living as well.
The result, our AirPods Beanies, marks our first-ever fully recycled product. Made of 100% recycled yarn, AirPods Beanies give a second life to old fishing nets and tights while being a fun tribute to Apple as the tastemakers of the modern lifestyle we create for.
We’ve been working on reinventing our packaging, but there’s a lot to consider. From exploring removing unnecessary plastic to reducing the size for less overall materials, we’re trying to find a solution that works all round. While it’s turned out to be a longer-term project, we also wanted to take action now.
We were pleasantly surprised to see that upon its introduction, many of you opted for Responsible Packaging when purchasing some of our signature products. It’s great to see that we’re all contributing to this path towards a more sustainable way of living. After all, it’s a group effort.
HIGHLIGHTS IN 2021
This year, we introduced a new category of MagSafe accessories – cables, chargers, card holders, and most recently our Snap 3-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charger, the all-in-one power solution for any of your charging needs.
With this new standard of charging here to stay, it opens doors for how we can enhance our everyday with our devices. We’ll continue to innovate with magnetic alignment and explore the possibilities it brings us, even beyond charging.
For the first time, our newest iPhone cases came hand-in-hand with accessories. Our Clic Lock mechanism seamlessly integrates Slings and Card Holders with your case so it’s secure yet easily detachable. This way, you can mix and match styles, colors, and accessories for whatever feels most you.
Introducing new colorways and interchangeable accessories was really about giving you more choice, letting you find the perfect fit. As our relationship with tech only grows stronger, our devices are becoming an extension of who we are and enabling unmatched levels of freedom and flexibility in how we go about our day. We wanted this range and all our products to embrace the positive change tech brings to our modern lives.
WHAT’S COMING UP?
A lot of the improvements we’ve been making are in the details of our day-to-day operations. While it’s a start, we know it’s not enough. To really grow sustainably, we need to make changes to the bigger picture, to Native Union as a whole.
We’re reviewing our product assortment, cutting down on existing collections and new releases, and focusing only on what you’ll truly need and love. We always advocate for the mindset of buying less, but better. But the truth is supply still generates demand, so we need to do our part as well. Create less, but better.
As part of this transition towards a more modern way of living, we’re also improving our current offerings. We did a test run of our customization service with our Rise Dock this year, and we’re excited to be reintroducing it in the new year for a wider range of products.
With how central our devices are to our everyday and with how we strive to enhance and personalize our relationship with tech, launching our own customization service seemed like the natural next step.
We have lots more in store, including exciting collaborations, more sustainable initiatives, and new categories of products that continue to empower the modern lifestyle.
We’re looking forward to sharing more soon. In the meantime, thanks for choosing us to enhance your modern lives with tech. It’s what inspires us to innovate and do better every day.