Pela Case Review:
The World’s First (Truly) Eco-Friendly
The Pela Case is “the world’s first 100% compostable, eco-friendly phone case.”
For me, Pela (and their cases) are the real deal, a company that created a phone case that protects your phone and the planet.
If you are looking for a more eco-friendly and sustainable phone case option, but want to make sure it’ll still get the job done (i.e. protect your phone from drops, tosses, and misadventure), you’ve come to the right place.
That’s why we’ve put together this Pela Case review, to let you know what you are getting into if you are considering going “green” with your phone protection.
Our Buy Ensemble Rating: The Pela Phone Case
Excellent day-to-day use phone case for your smartphone
Certified B Corporation & a non-toxic, child-safe product
You can literally compost this phone case. You kidding?
A bit on the higher end of the market at $40 – $50 a case
Can a Phone Case Love the Planet as much as it Does my Phone?
New phone? Hooray!
After you so gingerly took your new mobile out of its box I’m sure one of the first things you thought was—I need a case. 😬
If you are anything like me, you may make some internal proclamation that you are of a higher moral decree, you are one of the revered people others call: careful.
“Oh, a phone case? Who? Me? Why would I bother with such a thing?”
“People actually drop their phones?!? Pity…” you say.
Day 1 (or hour 1)
Let’s not let ego get the best of us…
And, now our ego aside, because you are a member of our Buy Ensemble community, you want your purchase to go further.
You, being the conscious consumer you are, want much more than a case that will just protect your phone (your high standards are welcomed here).
You want to use your dollars for a case (and a phone case company) that is good for people and the planet.
Enter the Pela Case.
I have recently been in your position.
A victim of a cell phone lifespan with two screen cracks (one incident occurred two days after a screen repair), I knew with my new iPhone 11 Pro, things had to be different.
I was going to have to take the inevitable ails and tragedies of life more seriously.
I would need a phone case.
My fiancé, being the wonderfully supportive partner she is, took it upon herself to get me a phone case. Knowing I had experienced my fair share of pain and hurt, she knew I needed support. So attentive.
And, to my absolute delight and surprise, a few days later came my very own Pela phone case (she’s the best, right?).
Considering a Pela Case? Here’s What You Should Think About…
The object of all phone cases is to protect your phone…duh.
But, how much and what kind of protection do you need?
Your phone protection needs all depend on your intended use.
Since I’ve slapped my Pela Case onto my iPhone, I’ve felt comfortable with the level of protection for day-to-day use. Of course, despite a few drops and slips here and there, we haven’t had a problem.
However, even though the Pela Case is designed with enough of a ridge along the edges to where your screen won’t be impacted with a face-down drop, it still feels a little vulnerable (certainly wouldn’t withstand Ron Swanson’s hammer, as seen above).
I really like the concept and practices behind Canopy—as Pela reminds us that over 1 Billion glass and plastic screen protectors are bought and thrown away every year.
- Every screen protector comes in additional plastic packaging (wasteful)
- To make these small pieces of glass, manufacturers are using 2x the material. Just to make them!
- Each protector is made special for each phone size. That means the industry as a whole is overproducing these protectors because they don’t know which phones will be best sellers.
This is what annual plastic phone case & screen protector waste looks like from a SINGLE retail store. Photo via PelaCase.com
Turns out, screen protectors are as much or a greater environmental waste than plastic cases, and you can read more about those from Pela’s site, here.
My only qualm with Pela’s Canopy, is that after purchasing both the case and Canopy, you’ll be in roughly $70 – $80 on your phone’s protection.
Although a “vial” of Canopy is enough to protect 3 devices, it still feels like a steep investment.
Plus side, with each a Pela Case and Canopy applied, you then qualify for Pela’s Screen Protection Guarantee—which means if for whatever reason your screen cracks, Pela will cover the repairs up to $200.
So, you can consider it an $80 insurance policy. Although, I did pay $250 for a screen repair for my Google Pixel last time. 🤔
Need something waterproof?
Even with the Pela Case and the Canopy Liquid Screen Protector, you won’t be protected from the water.
If you need something with that level of protection, you may have to go with an option like LifeProof™, although from what I understand they aren’t an eco-friendly option or haven’t explicitly made that claim.
So, obviously we’d advise against that until they become one.
The Pela Case: A 100% Compostable, Eco-Friendly Phone Case
The Pela Cases are 100% compostable. Yes, a truly sustainable phone case!
Pela’s cases are built with both the love for the planet and the protection your phone will need.
A secure, plastic-free phone case. No-brainer, right?
Visit Pela’s site, and select the phone you have to right-size your case.
Everything from the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max to the iPhone 6, as well as all Android models like the Samsung Galaxy or Google Pixel.
You can select from a variety of designs and colors (I have the Black, ME to WE Ripple Effect case—love the design).
Arriving at your door soon after, you’ll get your case, a note from the CEO, and surprisingly minimal packaging (another intentional, sustainable move on Pela’s part).
This is how you might expect it to arrive — Photo via Pelacase.com
From my experience, and research of Pela and other options available in the market right now, here’s what I deem the pros and cons.
The Good & Bad of The Planet-Friendly Pela Case
Let’s start with the pros.
1. Eco-Friendly & Sustainable from Start to Finish
Huge, right? As mentioned before, these cases are made compostable, biodegradable, and completely eco-friendly.
They aren’t only made in this planet-friendly manner, but they can be disposed of with the same ethos and considerations in mind.
Pela makes these cases from Flax shive, a plant-based biopolymer. These base materials make up Pela’s “Flaxstic®, which is comprised of compostable bioplastic elastomer and flax straw materials.”
*Note* I don’t think the breakdown happens this fast. But it’s still cool. 😎 Gif via PelaCase.com
It’s this at the base of the cases that make these products 100% compostable—able to be tossed in the backyard compost when you are done with it!
Not to mention, this proprietary material of Pela’s has been tested to be free of phthalates, BPA, cadmium, and lead. It’s this, that also means when the cases are composting, they won’t leave behind a toxic residue.
And, as mentioned earlier, Pela does their part to ship with a minimal amount of packaging necessary to keep the product secure. They are thinking of everything!
2. 1% Goes to the Planet
Like us here at Grow Ensemble, Pela is a member of 1% for the Planet, which means 1% of their top line revenue goes to environmental nonprofits and advocacy.
Another example of Pela’s end-to-end commitment to the planet.
3. Low Profile Cases
I don’t know about you, but when I’m selecting a new case for my phone, one of my biggest concerns is how much bulk the case will add.
I still want my phone to comfortably fit into my pocket!
Depending on whether you are the type of person who wants a cell phone or a tablet disguised as a cell phone (talking to you iPhone 11 Max Pro users…), just know, the Pela cases aren’t adding a burdensome amount of size to your phone.
4. Beautiful, Fun, Textured Designs
I love the design of my case—and after diving deeper into other options, it seems these cases are well-designed across the board.
As well, an unexpected benefit, the designs and patterns add a bit of texture to the case, so you can keep the thing in your hands. Something I’ve had an issue with, with previous plastic cases I’ve bought.
Not to mention, the cases have been designed with all functionality in mind, no issues with plugging in a charger, headphones, or even supporting wireless charging.
5. Screen Protection Guarantee
Added benefit if you do decide to go with a Pela case and their zero waste liquid screen protector, Canopy, you’ve become eligible for their screen protection guarantee, which means if while each product is used, if you happen to damage your screen Pela will cover the repairs up to a cost of $200.
There are some details to be aware of with this guarantee, which I’d check out at Pela’s site, here.
1. Price Point
The Pela cases are definitely at the high-end of the phone case market. Of course, if you have the means, you shouldn’t have issues directing your dollars towards the more sustainable, planet-friendly option, just something to be wary of.
If you get the case, you’ll most likely be in for a protector as well, which in total will be around $60 – $80.
However, if you have ever purchased a case at this level before, like an Otterbox branded case, making the switch to something more eco-friendly should be a no brainer.
If you are paying the same price, skip the traditional plastic!
More than 1 Billion screen protectors are bought and thrown away every year, Pela is looking to solve that problem. Photo via PelaCase.com
2. Screen Protection Guarantee
While I do appreciate the guarantee that the folks at Pela offer, I do have questions, especially considering when I had previously cracked my screen it had cost nearly $250.
Obviously, the idea is, with both the case and screen protector applied you shouldn’t be concerned with damaging the screen, but provided it does happen, it was a question.
Maybe I got ripped off for my screen repair? 🤔
The protection isn’t so much an issue, as mentioned I’ve before, I’ve felt my phone to be well protected and secure for day to day use.
We’ve only listed this as a con for the fact that you should be aware of the potential limitations of the Pela case’s protection. Not that it won’t withstand your day-to-day use, but rather if you were someone who preferred a case with more protection, or waterproofing, you may need to find another option.
A while back Pela introduced the “Walnut – Extra Protection Hard Shell,” which clips on to an existing Pela case for the added protection in unique circumstances, but from what I read it only works with iPhone 6, 6s, 7 and 8 Pela cases.
Not sure if they’ve continued to offer this option? But it’s applicability at the moment seems limited.
However, if you are solely considering protection on the day-to-day, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about (like me). The flax shive that makes the base of the case provides natural shock absorption.
If you are concerned with Pela’s protection, check their test video below…
The Eco-Friendly Pela Phone Case: Customer Reviews
It seems it’s not just us that are happy with the Pela Case! Through our research across the web, it seems the majority of Pela users are left more than satisfied!
From Pela’s website…
A 100% Biodegradable Compostable Phone Case: What’s Not to Love?
At the moment, I’m completely satisfied with my Pela Case.
It’s always a gift to encounter a company and product like theirs when you come across the unexciting, but necessary purchases in life.
Who gets excited about a phone case?
Well, normally no one. But with a case like Pela’s, that just might change.
Founder & CEO, Grow Ensemble
Cory is the Co-Founder & CEO of Grow Ensemble, as well as the Host of The Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Podcast. From Washington State, Cory now resides in San Antonio, TX with his brilliant fiancée and their rescue pup. Cory is deeply passionate about using his creative and cognitive capacities for doing good.
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