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.
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.
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).
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.
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.”