When you start typing, writing or drawing do you remove your watch because it gets in your way? Does your wrist get sweaty in the summer or frozen in the winter if it’s made of metal?
If you’re like me, you’ve probably given up on watches, relying instead on your phone or a chance encounter with a lobby clock to keep you grounded in reality. Watches have earned a bad rep lately but I miss the custom with every bone in my wrist. I love that a watch is not quite jewelry – making it a sound investment – yet, it leaves room for pared down self-expression. Plus, we’re talking about a piece that’s acceptable to wear every single day without social shaming. You know those subtle glances that say, “Didn’t I see you in that yesterday?!” Sadly, yes, this stigma is still very real.
Lately, I’ve seen a bunch of brands cropping up on my Instagram feed that cater to minimalists. This is a good thing, albeit not shocking. In a feed of watch sameness, I wanted to find the most distinct line. I settled on Wils Fabrik for its refined euro look and commitment to sustainabilliy.
Dig a bracelet more than a watch? You’ll love Wils Fabrik.
Product Ethics: ‘Eco-Friendly’ Verified
To Wils Fabrik, ‘eco-friendly’ isn’t a fluffy marketing term. It’s backed up with a verification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSS). These types of labels in fashion are notoriously confusing, so I’ll explain this for context. The FSC is a market-based conservation tool that’s not affiliated with any government. That means an independent certification body verifies sourcing by tracing the path of products made from forests through the entire supply chain. If it meets outlined standards, it gets a green-lettered seal of approval.
Additionally, Wils Fabrik publishes information about its supply chain. The brand’s website says it sources from FSC-approved forests in Africa, designs in Berlin, and manufactures in Switzerland. I’ve seen brands with shorter chains (read: lower carbon footprint) but this is difficult to achieve in watchmaking because it’s dispersed and extremely niche. It’s an industry based on heritage – where skills are often kept within families or protected by countries to maintain their proprietary craftmanship. This forces brands to look across continents to secure the best quality design and manufacturing. It’s why, to this day, the Swiss are unrivaled.
Brand Ethics: BUILD A LIFE > One for One
The founder of Wils Fabrik said he was inspired by the TOMS ‘one for one’ giving model. In actuality, he one-upped it. The TOMS model has been widely studied and ultimately disproven (Racked) as an effective change agent in developing and underdeveloped nations. Wils Fabrik approaches giving differently by emphasizing education instead of aid. Through its BUILD A LIFE campaign, it gives books and learning materials to children in Africa, Cambodia, and Korea. It’s given over 9,000 books in the quest to help spread learning so far.
If you go with a wood version, I love the blonde Vegan in both the large and dainty varieties.
I opted for the Caramel style with a leather band. I can’t say why exactly. Maybe because I’ve never owned a leather watch before. Or, I got hooked on the idea of a really classic timepiece. Just a matter of preference. If you also like this style, don’t let Wils Fabrik’s shopping page deter you where it says ‘sold out.’ The brand has refreshed its stock with a limited number due to demand.
Overall, I am pleased with it. The brown color isn’t so rich that I can’t wear it in spring and I like that the color of the wood face is slightly different than the band. It’s also light enough that I forget I’m wearing it – a quality I thought only the wood varieties would deliver. The gold accents around the dial are high quality and subtly shiny. And one last note: I have a very tiny wrist and this is one of the few ‘band style’ watches that has fit without having to punch an awkward extra hole.
If you want to live, work and move with your watch on, consider an all wood style
For The Guys
I normally stick to women’s fashion because it’s where I have the most expertise. Lately, though, more men have been asking me about ethical fashion. I just did wardrobe audits for a Fashion Revolution Day event in Austin and the first person to sign up was a guy! It threw me off my A-game but also piqued my interest. My goal here, first and foremost, is to listen to your question and what you have to say. So I’m taking the interest from the gents as a queue that I need to start covering men’s fashion more.
You’ll see I’ve started to update my shopping page, noting M/F where brands offer lines for both genders and I’ll continue to add more. In the meantime, if you’re a guy popping by The Peahen, you can check out Wils Fabrik’s edgy sustainable watches too.
This post was generously sponsored by Wils Fabrik. That means the watch I’m wearing was gifted and I was compensated for my time writing and editing this post. I’ve chosen to review this brand because it fits my aesthetic standards and the review here is 100% my own candid opinion.