Bloom promises sustainable wood iPhone 5s cases made in Canada

Though Canada’s beautiful and expansive forests make up over half of our country’s landmass, and around 10% of the world’s total trees, one must still be mindful of the myriad wood-based products in the market made from non-sustainable materials.

Nextware, out of Calgary, Alberta, aims to impact the smartphone accessory market by offering wood-based iPhone cases made from sustainable, FSC-Certified sources.

The company just launched a Kickstarter campaign for its Bloom series of wooden iPhone cases, available in five finishes: walnut, ebony, maple, bamboo and rosewood. I had a chance to sample two early production samples, maple and walnut, and came away very impressed, both with the wood finish and the overall build quality.

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Bloom combines hand-milled wood, which is coated to resist fingerprints and dust, machine-etched cutouts for the rear camera, and a sturdy plastic “bumper” that protects the front and sides of the iPhone. Compatible with the iPhone 5 and 5s, the samples I received felt well-constructed and sturdy, and while I preferred the maple, with its slight ridges and imperfections, both cases appear well worth the investment.

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The bumper colour itself will be white or black depending on the choice of wood finish — white for maple and bamboo, black for rosewood, ebony and walnut — with the latter two offering a black rubber ring around the camera cutout for added protection (and colour matching).

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The cases themselves don’t add much bulk to the iPhone 5s — they are surprisingly light — but the plastic bumper is well enough designed to jut out in front of the glass screen, which could prevent scratches or perforations if the phone falls on its face.

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Each case is $29 during the Kickstarter campaign, but Nextware aims to sell Bloom for $45 when it retails later this year. The campaign ends in mid-March, and the team is looking for $11,000 to “fund the manufacturing process locally in Calgary, AB and enable us to control the quality to create our premium Bloom Case.”

[source]Kickstarter[/source]

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