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Apple ‘scraps vegan iPhone cases’ after backlash

FineWoven
Apple's FineWoven cases and watch bands, costed between £99 and £149

Apple has reportedly suspended production of vegan phone cases it started selling less than a year ago.

The tech giant is said to have stopped making its FineWoven cases and watch straps following complaints that the £59 cases would become easily scratched and worn out.

Apple introduced the material, a “microtwill” made up of recycled textiles and other fibres, last September when it announced that it would no longer produce leather accessories as part of an environmental push.

The business has committed to its supply chain being completely carbon neutral by 2030.

When it introduced the FineWoven cases and watch bands, which cost between £99 and £149, Apple said they had a “sophisticated look” and a “significantly lower carbon footprint than leather”.

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However, the accessories have been plagued by complaints that they deteriorate after a few days of use, with scratches and scuffs remaining on the fabric and the cases attracting dust and fluff. Others have complained that the cases are slippery compared to their leather predecessors.

The cases are frequently returned, according to their Amazon listing.

Apple was reported to have suspended production of the FineWoven cases by an anonymous Twitter account that is widely known for leaking details from the company’s supply chain.

The account, known as Kosutami, had previously revealed the company’s plan to introduce the recycled fabric cases before Apple announced them in September. It said that the company would find an alternative material.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Last week, it published a new advert promoting the move to ditch leather that did not mention the FineWoven cases. It announced new colours for its cheaper silicone cases and watch straps last month but did not refresh the FineWoven range.

Suspending production could mean the company will continue to sell the cases before announcing an alternative at an upcoming event, such as the annual iPhone launch in September.

Apple has made a series of product changes in recent years in an attempt to meet its environmental targets, including using recycled materials in its phones, cutting the amount of packaging, and no longer including headphones and charging cables.