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How The Sacred Crafts is Bridging the Gap Between Luxury and Sustainability

How The Sacred Crafts is Bridging the Gap Between Luxury and Sustainability
Modern day consumers are not easily impressed. The virtually endless stream of options faced by people on a daily basis tends to confuse and overwhelm buyers, as the American psychologist and author Barry Schwartz points out in his book “The Paradox of Choice”. While we might believe that having multiple options makes it easier to choose, in reality the cognitive load that this boundless abundance triggers usually ends up backfiring and leading to decision paralysis.

Some brands understand this conundrum and have used it to their advantage by presenting themselves in an honest and direct light, providing customers with a straightforward buying experience that aligns perfectly with their values, taste and preferences.

For Matthew Harkins, the founder and creative mastermind behind luxury accessible timepiece brand The Sacred Crafts, remaining authentic in the face of success has not been difficult. He is a passionate person who firmly believes in the power of uniqueness.

“We find stories, products and materials in order to help them become reborn. In doing so, we are helping to correct the convenience culture that has taken over a big part of our lives. We invite the expiration date, the rust and the scratches to show themselves off in all their glory.” -Harkins affirms.

The Sacred Crafts has captured the hearts and minds of selective consumers around the world not only thanks to its painstaking manufacturing process, superior product quality and eye-catching designs, but also because of the honesty and selflessness with which each of their watches is made.

Their two flagship collections, the Indies Trader collection and La Grande Mer collection have broken stereotypes and fueled a powerful paradigm shift in luxury markets by putting people, planet and processes at the heart of every single timepiece that is produced. The secret behind their success is a blend of uncompromising craftsmanship, wholesome sustainability and the flawless aesthetics that the imprint constantly communicates through its digital channels.

In reality, The Sacred Crafts has become much more than a watch brand; Enthusiasts of the independent company point out that they get a special feeling when their watches arrive, not only because of the pleasure associated with wearing them but also because they know that through their purchases, they are effectively making a positive difference in the communities and ecosystems from which these products arise.

In order to gain a better understanding of the philosophy behind the brand, we interviewed Matthew, who shared with us some key aspects of the story behind this disruptive luxury brand:

When did you first discover your passion for timepieces and watchmaking?

For me it started in 2014 when I helped get a new Kickstarter brand called Original Grain going. Their story was all about wood and steel and I was able to innovate the category and got really into the idea of storytelling through watches and fashion accessories. I had a different direction that sort of blossomed inside of me and I decided to start The Sacred Crafts. Prior to watchmaking, I worked for a few global brands in both marketing and product design for eyewear, apparel and surf hardware.

In a highly competitive market, you have managed to stand out. What is the secret behind The Sacred Crafts’ authenticity?

Actually the reason I started the brand was because I knew I could basically define this new category of "adventure sourcing" and storytelling. The way we are doing it is really just not done...It's super hard to have so much fun and actually pull off great products!

Knowing the market and having a unique perspective on materials, engineering, sustainability and design means the better we simply share what we are doing the more successful the brand will be in a crowded space of me too brands and copycats.

How do your products benefit local communities?

We design, develop and manufacture from reclaimed, upcycled and recycled materials that many of them, we remove from sensitive coastal and natural habitats. That process involves some amount of labor and we hire local craftsmen and professionals to ensure it's done right and in a way the locals benefit from; When and where we can, we produce parts on a local level to further support a community.

We support our friends in the community who are working on local beach clean ups and environmental protection, we also support local and international athletes and ambassadors to help them achieve their goals. We equally promote and support travel and tourism to local communities on social media and we encourage community and international exchange to support a healthy global and cultural understanding.

Which watches are the most sought after by your customers?

Currently we have our first collection of 4 watches, "La Grande Mer." All are limited and individually numbered. In December of 2021 we launched an even more limited collection called "The Treasure Hunter" in collaboration with luxury adventure tour company, The Indies Trader; All watches are available on our website at the moment.

We design them with slightly different material, color and sustainability stories to share.

In a world full of materials that have been discarded, how do you successfully blend luxury and sustainability?

I have been fortunate enough to design a lot of products. Along with that comes a pretty broad range of material options from project to project. Eventually I realized I can sort of cross-pollinate categories and design solutions that most people aren't really thinking about (but are actually really cool).

Trust me, that process is more frustrating that you think when I rely on craftsmen and suppliers who've got years of experience but have never done what I'm asking them to do. Sometimes people don't even think I'm serious. That's when normally I go back to my own shop and build a really poor proof of concept then bring it back to them and I say..."See, it's real" - They normally look a bit surprised, then they laugh, then we all laugh and then they start to make it for me and that's how the innovation become real.

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