Stem Watches: The Irish watch brand with the ethical back-story
I'll be the first to admit that exceptionally young overachievers get my back up (like, why is it that you have to show the rest of us up by doing something deadly in your first quarter-century?) so, on paper, Stem Watches' 20-year-old founder Sam McAllister is the type of person whose great idea I'd theoretically have hard time backing. (See also: the Olsen twins, the Collisons, anyone who's won the BT Young Scientist competition and Mark Zuckerberg.)
But then you get his idea: Stem Watches, a direct-to-consumer watch brand, which partners with WeForest to plant a tree for every watch sold (which makes me want to make a Marky Mark Clueless joke), is committed to environmental responsibility and ethical transparency and looks really freaking good. Plus, in a tres zeitgeisty move, it's being crowd-funded via Kickstarter.
There's a whole load of detail you can go into on Stem Watches' Kickstarter page itself (which has around €1,200 to go until it reaches its goal of €5,450), but the watches look slick and the idea is super smart – so props to Sam, who surely has a bright and irritating future ahead of him. He'll probably be a millionaire by the time I get approved for a mortgage (and undoubtedly before his 30th birthday).
You can pledge any amount you want, but €5 will get a tree planted and €69 will get you one of the three founding watch styles – this would be such a deadly Christmas present for someone who loves fashion but is a little tired of the cold, empty feeling you get when all you're interested in is consumerism and you realise that you and Donald Trump probably have more in common than you'd like...