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Bang & Olufsen sees ‘an opportunity’ in sustainable tech – real leather may be off the menu

Bang & Olufsen is actively working to improve its products’ sustainability, according to vice president of design, Gavin Ivester.

When pressed about the firm’s use of real leather in certain products, like the Beoplay E8 3rd Gen, during an interview at the Beosound Balance launch event in London, Ivester told Trusted Reviews the company see’s sustainability as “an opportunity”.

“Sustainability is of huge importance to us. Being super candid, leather is one of the places we know we have an opportunity in. I’ll just say that,” he said.

Bang & Olufsen’s use of real leather in certain products has been a marmite part of its design, putting off many groups, like ethical vegans.

Ivester went on to add, that the firm also believes focussing on creating “long lasting” products that don’t need to be replaced has always been a core part of Bang & Olufsen’s sustainability strategy. “If we look at sustainability in general, I think that one thing about Bang & Olufsen’s legacy is that it has always been about design, sound and craft. So we have a legacy of stellar, long term design”

“A product that lasts longer is always better for the environment as people replace it less often. That’s the platform from where we build our sustainability and that’s the approach we’ll stick to going forward.”

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The design VP listed the Beosound Balance as an example of the firm’s ongoing focus on sustainability, telling Trusted Reviews, the firm ensured the wood used in the base was responsibly sourced. However, he couldn’t say how many of the precious materials used inside were from recycled sources – though being fair to Bang & Olufsen, none of the speaker manufacturers we’ve interviewed have been able to answer this question.

The use of precious metals in consumer devices, such as speakers and smartphones, has been an ongoing issue within the tech industry. Apple pledged to only use recycled precious metals in its iPhones in 2017.

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