I remember when I got my first watch as a birthday present. It was long before iPhones or cell phones were born, and it made me feel like a bad ass grown up despite the fact it was pretty much covered in butterflies. I had painstakingly learned how to read in analog (I have Dyscalculia so this was no small feat for this brain of mine) and felt a sense of freedom and responsibility that I was now privy to know and share the time.

Over the following years, I went through my fair share of time telling apparatuses as I learned through the education of experience which particular elements analog watches can handle and which they most definitely could not. Then one day, the arrival of the everlasting Nokia made me decide a watch was something of the past and from that day forward, I rarely left my home without a phone in hand.

Since that time technology has developed so much, that I long for those simpler days, and have been implementing ways to disengage with my iPhone (which does just about everything for me), and try to interact in a different way with myself and the world around me.

This involves bringing back ‘unconnected’ apparatus, which are produced ethically and sustainably of course. So, a radio/alarm clock in the bedroom which allows me to keep electronics away from us at night, a record player for music (not necessary, but nice), and a watch to wear around (the one pictured is Shane’s, gifted by the brand).   

Most watches are made with mined minerals like gold and silver, which are extracted from mines by striping the surface soil using harmful chemicals. These chemicals cause soil erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity and contamination of the soil and both the ground and the surface water. It is a non-sustainable source that generates waste equivalent in weightto nearly nine times the trash produced by all the cities and towns combined.

A watch made out of bamboo, like the one pictured here by FourthGentlemen, is a definite option as a sustainable and suitable way to disconnect from the electronic world. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world (over 24 inches in 24hrs!) which enables frequent and sustainable harvesting without causing damage to the ecosystem of bamboo forests. It grows abundantly, without pesticides and is watered naturally by mountain rain. It produces more oxygen and absorbs more carbon dioxide than trees, combating global warming with each bamboo shoot planted. To top it off, because it comes from the earth, it can return to the earth and adds benefits rather than harms when it does.

Created by a husband and wife team who quit the corporate life in search of a more conscious path, they followed their inspiration to create watches and sunglasses sourced and produced sustainably. They decided to name their brand after four sacred plants that are portrayed regularly in Chinese art, known as the 'four gentleman' (or the four noble ones). Each plant represents the four seasons, chrysanthemum for autumn, the plum blossom for winter, the orchid for spring, and bamboo for summer, adding a sacredness to their already consciously curated creations.



FOURTH GENTLEMAN WATCH: Sustainably and ethically made with bamboo, this is a biodegradable, aesthetic solution to the issues we have with metals. You'll find their creations online HERE.

BAMBOO RADIO / ALARM: Sustainably made with bamboo, this radio has a new school look but old school usage.  You'll find it online HERE

ECO FRIENDLY RECORD PLAYER: Bob Marley's kids (The House of Marley) just released an eco-friendly and ethically made record player they've aptly named 'Stir It Up'. You'll find it on Amazon HERE.

PHOTOS: Shane Woodward
SPONSORED POST: Please note, I was gifted the watch by Fourth Gentlemen and I charged a small sum for the time I spent researching, writing and photographing this post. Support like this keeps food in my belly and a roof over my head. I don't receive any editorial direction from brands, any opinions and storylines shared are mine (and Shane's).