Overall, Freestyle USA gives zero transparency into the materials it uses, how each watch is made, and its overall company practices. This lack of disclosure is highly suspicious, and consumers should be wary of the company’s lack of public information. Fortunately, Freestyle USA does highlight and offer warranty and repair programs. It will sell consumers spare parts to repair their watches rather than replacing them. This practice is inherently sustainable and shows the company prioritizes repairs over replacements.
The Shark Clip watch is composed of both sustainable and unsustainable materials. The straps are made of nylon and plastic, and nylon has a large carbon footprint, requires tremendous water, and is energy-intensive to create. The watch is then made of plastic, various metals, and stainless steel. Stainless steel is the most sustainable metal as it is made from 80% of recycled metal scraps.
I found myself very frustrated writing this review because I couldn’t find information from Freestyle USA about its material sourcing and watch creation process. I certainly look at the company and its watch differently after this process. I would recommend Freestyle USA and companies, in general, be transparent about their materials and practices. No company is perfect, but information is important for consumers to make conscious and well-rounded choices on what they choose to buy.
Freestyle USA’s Shark Clip watches are comprised of many different materials such as plastic, steel and other metals, nylon, rubber, and Teflon. The maker of these watches provides no disclaimer if its products are made from recycled materials, so its safe to say that the metals come from mining facilities. Moreover, the watch straps are almost entirely nylon—a plastic created from crude oil. The creation of nylon leads to the release of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Nylon also requires extensive amounts of water to cool each fiber.
The metal and stainless steel components of Shark Clips also lack transparency. 80% of all stainless steel created is from recycled material, which is a great start and makes it the most sustainable metal.
Unfortunately, due to Freestyle USA’s lack of disclosed information, it is difficult to understand the entire scope of each watch’s material. This lack of disclosure should be met with suspicion and skepticism from all consumers.
Freestyle USA does not disclose its watch construction process, which factories it uses, or the labor that goes into the creation of each product. This lack of transparency is suspicious, and consumers should note the silence. Freestyle USA boasts 112 different types of Shark Clip Classic watches, each with a different design and color scheme. The company also has many partnerships, including Apple Watch straps.
It seems that the company is not global, so it can be concluded that it does not have a huge global supply chain that would contribute to immense carbon emissions. However, Shark Clip watches are shipped domestically and internationally, which leads to a larger carbon footprint.
There is a strong lack of transparency from Freestyle USA from how its watches are made to what the watches are made of. Moreover, little is known about the working conditions at its stores and factories. Freestyle USA could drastically improve by giving consumers greater transparency into its workers’ conditions and its factory processes. Navigating through the website is frustrating, and there is little to nothing on for consumers to independently research on the internet.
While its lack of transparency gives me skepticism on how sustainable it is, Freestyle does have a strong stance of watch repair over watch replacement, showing its commitment to repairing what has already been made rather than creating more models that will contribute to greater waste.