Sustainable and Stylish Watches, with Monique Medved
Time IV Change is a young Australian company on a mission to create watches that are not only stylish but also made with the least amount of damage to our planet and all those on it. Parvati Magazine met with co-founder Monique Medved to learn about their new Pinatex Range.
Parvati Magazine: What inspired you and co-founder Marko Stevanja to take the leap and launch Time IV Change?
Monique Medved: When Time IV Change first started back in 2016, there was no independent vegan watch brand around. I know this because I looked for months on end to find a brand to buy Marko for his birthday. With no luck and months of frustration seeing cheap watches using just PU and stainless steel, I decided it was time someone made a change in the market, and Marko agreed. Essentially, we saw the gap in the market, an opportunity to create an impact and influence change, and so we took an absolute leap of faith and just started a watch brand from scratch.
PMAG: How do you approach decisions on product look and design?
MM: Our main goal whenever it comes to designing a new range or adding new bands and materials is to look at what is currently not on the market in the innovative world of textiles. We want to be leading the way when it comes to new and innovative materials coming through that are being created using recycling and science even. So it involves constant researching around the clock.
PMAG: The Pinatex Range takes vegan watches to a new level with watchbands made from recycled pineapple leaves. Why does Piñatex get high points for sustainability, and what characteristics make it a great luxury watch band?
MM: When we introduced Piñatex to our range last year, no one really knew what it was and if they did know about it, it was because it was made from pineapple leaves. But the actual process of how the material goes from pineapple leaf fibres to a material is beyond incredible and paving the way for other sustainable materials. Carmen Hijosa, the founder of Piñatex, discovered that pineapple leaf fibres could be bonded to make a non-woven material. So she began to work with the Filipino farmers who extract the fibres from the pineapple leaves as a by-product of the pineapple harvest (meaning there is no wastage or extra resources like land or water being used in the process). The fibres are then sent to a textile finishing company in Spain where the transformation from a fiber mesh into Piñatex takes place. What makes it such a great luxury watch band is that it is a natural textile made from waste plant fibres and leaves a minimal footprint on the ecosystem as well as supporting local farmers in the Philippines.
PMAG: From day one you’ve been giving at least 10% of your profits to charity. How are you involving your customers in the program? Can you share a story of the impact made through one of your chosen charities?
MM: In the beginning, when we started with our Kickstarter campaign we donated a portion of the profits to the charities we work with by allocating an organization to a band colour. So whenever someone purchased a navy band, the portion of profits would be donated to the charity affiliated with that colour. Since then, we’ve given the power back to the customer by letting them decide where they want to see their contribution go towards from their purchase. One of the organisations, Animal Hope & Wellness, managed to set up a veterinary clinic in the US for all the rescued dogs in the Yulin Dog Meat Festival with the money that we donated on behalf of our loyal customers, which is amazing considering it’s such a small contribution.
PMAG: What’s next for Time IV Change?
MM: We have three new ranges we are currently working on that are completely new looks and styles to our current watches but still keeping in mind our ethos and the materials we use. We also have a new and exciting material we will be introducing that we will be the first in the world using for watch bands (I can’t say too much about it yet as it’s still in the prototyping stage). We also have plans to expand into the US and UK markets which will be big for us seeing as they are the two biggest markets we sell to right now!
Monique Medved Co-Founder of Time IV Change, started her first business when she was 17, and when that business failed, Time IV Change was born with her partner Marko Stevanja.
She lives in a small town called Geelong, Australia, where Time IV Change started, and has been vegan for over three years. For more information go to www.timeivchange.com.au.