In recent years, many of us have become dependant on technology — our iPhones and headphones in particular — but just because we can’t stop ourselves from bopping to Ariana Grande on repeat doesn’t mean that we don’t also want to express ourselves through the occasional accessory. That’s where Planet Beyond comes in. From the combined brain power of a mathematician, an architect, an engineer, and a computer programmer — graduates from MIT and Harvard, no less — this new brand of wireless earbuds combines top-notch technology with fashionable baubles. And they are actually quite cute.
At its core, Planet Beyond is a tech brand that designs top-of-the-line headphones rivaling those of giants like Apple and Bose. According to Vice, Apple’s option is both unethical in terms of the “unlivable” rates at which the workers who produce them are paid and in terms of the impact on the environment. Made from plastic, unable to be repaired, and unsafe to throw away, Apple’s AirPods are “a product of the past,” Vice explains. So you can see why music lovers might be in need of a better alternative. Unlike its competitors, Planet Beyond has created a design that’s made from lightweight recycled materials, making them almost wholly sustainable. The jewelry-like attachments that go with them are also low-impact, made from scrap metal.
“The inspiration for the first arrival pieces came from the natural elements of the future world, as we introduce to our audience how we imagine a sustainable future will look like,” founder of Planet Beyond Lorin Gu says. “The leaves, the stars, and the sun all took on a mechanical look as if they were constructed in the future. These are the fundamental yet most hopeful elements of the world, and we want to build our Planet Beyond universe with these elements.”
For the founder, sustainability was of the utmost importance. “I came across this old electronics factory through my finance career. This emblem of old economy was falling apart because the development of new technology products has made most of the smaller factories unable to catch up, and rendered them obsolete.” The waste surrounding the tech company is significant, similar to that of the fashion industry; Planet Beyond was designed to counteract that in every way possible. Gu took the old factory and turned it into something new, not only bringing it back from the dead, but also supplying jobs that would otherwise be done with machines. Jewelry, unlike headphones, is best done by hand.
But since tech was their specialty, not design, the team at Planet Beyond sought out a number of jewelry designers to help make sure that their pieces were, in fact, fashionable. And from what we’ve seen of the collection so far, they’ve done a good job. There are currently four accessory options: a sun ray, leaves, and a shooting star, with more on the way. “Our second arrival is rooted in the concept of “architecture of the future.” Without saying too much, we also have some great collaborations in the works and are rolling out our subsequent product categories in the near future (bracelet and glasses).”
If Planet Beyond has anything to say about it, we’ll be donning all kinds of fashionable tech in no time. And while, sure, you could always just wear earrings alongside your standard set of white air pods, where’s the fun in that?