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Our Pela Case Review

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To say that smartphones have pretty much become a mainstay of our everyday 21st century lives is a gross understatement. But what’s gained much more traction in the past decade or so has been the desire to not only gain maximum utility from our palm-sized wonders, but to also dress them as an aesthetic accessory. And what followed was an endless barrage of smartphone cases, with a seemingly endless range of designs and functions. 😜😜😜

On the flip side, another modern phenomenon that’s not quite so delightful and is instead much more alarming: Plastic waste and exponential degradation of the environment. Plastic waste has done immense damage to the environment, from choking up sea life to seeping into drinking water. 😢

While these two phenomena are seemingly unrelated, the fact remains that the production of smartphone cases indelibly result in tons of plastic waste. And it’s no wonder. Plastic sure can take a beating – making it one of the most ideal materials for housing our precious smartphones. Research shows that the average phone case lasts just 2.5 years, but takes centuries to break down. This means the phone case spends only a tiny fraction of its life ever being useful. 😱😡🤯

But surely there must be a way to balance the need for a protective, durable phone case, with limiting any damage done to the environment? 🤔

Enter: Pela Case, the world’s first 100% biodegradable phone case. The wonder of this little invention is that when you inevitably become sick of a phone case (and we all know that our impatient little selves can hardly contain the excitement of moving onto new cases from time to time), they don’t go straight into the bin and join the existing mounds of plastic waste. Instead, it goes into the compost, giving us peace of mind that we’ve done our part to limit damage to the environment. 😇😇😇

Pela must be doing something right, because they’ve recently gained a huge following of more than 550,000 followers on Instagram and were featured by the likes of Forbes and CNN.

Pela back the layers

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Let’s take a quick step back. Who are Pela, and where did they come from?

Pela was founded by Jeremy Lang after he took an eye-opening (and ultimately life-changing) family trip to Hawaii. While playing with his young son on the beach, Jeremy was shocked to discover just how much plastic waste there was in the sand. This motivated him to vow to get sustainable products into the home, to replace all plastic items used on the daily, without having to sacrifice convenience. 😎

This was the ultimate goal, to reinvent the way people think about everyday items used. In fact, this very belief made its way into Pela’s mission statement: “Everyday products without everyday waste”. 💯💯💯

Inspired by his hometown of Saskatoon, Jeremy then set out to develop Flaxstic. Saskatoon was full of flax fields, and once they’d been harvested, the waste flax straw was burnt (i.e. degradable).

Flaxstic has all the properties you’d want in plastic: It’s bendable and durable, all whilst remaining 100% biodegradable. And this magic substance is exactly what forms the fibers of Pela cases!
Made from a blend of biopolymers and Canadian flax shive, Pela cases are free from lead, cadmium, BPA and phthalates. Their cases also meet child safety standards in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, Pela has also been certified carbon-neutral, meaning that they internally offset any carbon emissions. This pretty much makes them the cleanest phone cases for the environment on the market. Mother Nature smiles on Pela, friends. 🤩🤩

Pela’s partnerships

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Aside from the amazing work that Pela’s already doing in producing environmentally-friendly phone cases, they’ve also partnered with 1% for the Planet, an organization that encourages businesses to donate a portion of their profit towards saving the environment. 

In addition, Pela have also partnered with a couple of other charities to remove plastic waste that is already in circulation, including SurfRider and Save the Waves. 

It’s clear that Jeremy’s original vision has held through not only in Pela’s internal inventions and dealings, but even in the manner in which Pela has plugged into the community and to give back. 🥲🥰

We can’t help but stan a brand that stands behind such a noble cause, and remains committed at every step. If you’re as inspired as we are to plunge right in, check out our review of Pela’s lineup of cases, and get ready to join the club!

Why you should trust us?

Our team has spent over 15 hours extensively testing and researching the best wellness products, including Pela. Our goal is to find the best brands who care about your well-being and help people live better lives. We evaluate products based on their quality, effectiveness and customer support.

We often ask ourselves a simple question: would we buy the product for ourselves and recommend it to our family and friends? This review is reviewed and thoroughly vetted by Amy Bells, our in-house wellness and self-care expert and product tester herself!

Which phones are compatible with Pela cases?

If you’re at all interested in joining the Pela club, the foremost question to ask is whether Pela makes cases compatible with your phone. (That is, unless you’re committed enough to change phones for their cases! 😂😜)

The good news is, Pela produces cases for a pretty extensive list of phones:

  • iPhones
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 and upwards
  • Google Pixel 3a and upwards
  • Huawei P50 and P50 Pro
  • OnePlus 9

We can fully expect that as the brand grows, and as new phones are produced year to year, this list of compatible phone models are likely to expand – so keep your eyes peeled! 😮😮😮

How durable are Pela cases?

Now, if you’re anything like me, you’d be wondering if these biodegradable cases are actually able to meet the bill in terms of providing adequate protection for our precious smartphones. Afterall, aren’t they made out of…flax? Vegetables??? 🤯

The good news is that Pela anticipated these concerns and have provided customers the assurance that it has conducted drop tests to ensure that all their cases are military grade and safe from a 6-foot drop. Check out the above video of a drop test conducted on Pela’s cases. These cases are as rough as they come. 😎

This will largely cover day to day wear and tear issues, including nosey toddlers, curious dogs and cast, standing up without realising our phones were actually resting unsecured on our laps (boy have we been there…🤦‍♀️🤦🤦‍♂️) 

One thing that provides enhanced protection in Pela’s cases is the shock absorbing nature of Flaxstic. Flaxstic has a natural bounce, which in turn reduces the impact that the phone may otherwise encounter when dropping on the ground or any other hard surface. ☑️  In addition, Flaxstic is also scratch-resistant. ☑️☑️

Now, are Pela cases going to protect your phones from a 3-storey drop or from being rolled over by a car? Probably not. We know there are cases on the market which serve these purposes and would otherwise be marketed as ‘indestructible’. But as long as you bear in mind that Pela cases aren’t made for such extreme conditions, they should provide adequate protection for general, everyday use. 👍
Another thing we fancy with the Pela cases is the slightly textured material of the Flaxstic. This makes the case (and the phone enclosed) less likely to slip out of your hand than some other ultra-smooth cases. Those with sweaty (or just clumsy hands), like me, would rejoice over some extra grip, all whilst remaining easy enough to slide in and out of the pocket. ✌️

Let’s talk design

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Now we move to what is admittedly the single most important factor in choosing a phone case: Design. It’s futile to pretend that our primary interest lay with the strength, function or even environmental-friendliness of a phone case (or at least that’s true for the vast majority of us), especially since phone cases have somehow evolved to become an expression (or even extension) of ourselves. ✨✨✨

In terms of design, the Pela cases are minimalistic in the best way possible. They take on the usual shape of phone cases which have rounded edges to protect the phone’s edges, with a precise cut-out for the camera. Pela cases also feature raised button covers, avoiding any gaps in the casing where dust or dirt may otherwise be trapped.

Other than these general design features, the specific design of the cases turn on which model you pick – so let’s do a quick deep dive into each of their top-selling designs so you can pick the model that best suits you. 😍

Clear cases

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An essential addition to every phone case collection is the classic clear case. With phones that now sport uber-attractive metal backings, it’s no wonder throngs of people have opted for the more minimalist cases to show off the naked beauty of their smartphones.

Lucky for us, Pela has produced a clear design which ticks this box. The back of the clear case is made of a rigid plastic alternative, while the sides are lined with ridges (that come in different colors!) that serve as a shock and impact-absorption layer to guard against damage which result from drops. 👏🙌

For those looking at truly minimalistic designs, explore the clear backed cases with colored ridges – the variety in shades of ridges allows for an expression of your personality, all while keeping it simple. The ridges come in colors like Lavender, Terracotta or just the classic Black. These retail for $39.95 and are the more affordable among Pela’s range of cases.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to jazz it up a little while still allowing your phone’s backing to peek through, explore some of the clear cases with printed designs. For instance, look at designs like the Clear Vintage Floral, or the Clear abstract Botanics for that boho, effortless look. These retail for roughly $59.95.

Printed cases

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If you’re a little extra like me, then more is more — and Pela’s designed printed cases have you covered. Explore their range of printed cases which include the likes of:

  • Black Cosmos
  • London Fog Canyon
  • Seashell Shrooms and Blooms
  • Black Cow
  • Black Magical Forest
  • Black Night Garden
  • Black Sundown
  • Blush Sister (it’s literally full of boobs)

And many more!

Shop by identifying the color of the case you want (which is clearly indicated at the front of each design), followed by your favorite prints. 

In particular, one of the brand’s best-selling printed designs is its Clear Waves case, paired with a sleek black protective ridge. Something classic yet elegant. 😻😻😻

Prices of the printed range of cases vary between $47.95 to $59.95.

Eco-friendly classic cases

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Perhaps Pela’s most recognizable case is its basic case, which comes in 9 different subtle, classic colors. This is a smooth and soft case with a textured, speckled design. Timeless, effortless and everything you’d want in a case to last a lifetime. *chef’s kiss* 😘

This case was created with Pela’s famous Flaxstic material, specifically by melting down, shaping and cooling Flaxstic pellets. It’s precisely the flax shiv in the material that gives it its natural speckled design. Mixing these speckles with the coloring, each case is unique and no 2 cases are identical. 

Personally, these cases strike the best middle ground between being classic and elegant. They come in a fairly large range of colors for you to pick your fancy, including:

  • Black
  • Forest Floor (kinda like an army green)
  • Green
  • Sage Green
  • Stormy Blue
  • Teddy Brown
  • Terracotta
  • Velvet Purple

The eco-friendly classic cases also come with a special engraved model, which imprints some of your favorite animal prints, albeit engraved into the Flaxstic material of the phone case. Animal and nature lovers, rejoice! These were made with you in mind. ❤️❤️❤️

What we love is that the engraved line of eco-friendly cases come in an even wider range of colors. Think Powder Blue, Ocean Turquoise, Honey, Blush Sister, Cosmic Blue, Lavender, London Fog, and more!

2 of the brand’s top-selling engraved cases are their Limited Edition Turtle case launched on a turquoise base, launched in conjunction with World Turtle Day, as well as the Honey Bee case that comes in a vibrant mustard yellow.

The classic eco-friendly cases ring in at $47.95, and the engraved cases range between $47.95 to $59.95

Wallet cases

Last but certainly not least, the brand also offers wallet cases for those that love heading out with just a phone in hand. The phone wallet allows you to carry up to 2 cards, all while retaining the phone’s slim and sleek profile. 🤩🥳

These come in a range of designs, with the eco-friendly classic, engraved and printed cases all in the mix. Prices vary based on the designs selected!

Pela makes other things too

It may surprise you to note that while Pela is most famously known for designing rugged, beautiful yet eco-friendly phone cases, they make other products too!

These include smart watch bands for the Apple Watch, Fitbit Sense and Versa 3, as well as Sunglasses, Blue Light Glasses, Airpods/Airpods Pro Cases, AirTag Holders, Phone Grips, Card Keeper Wallets, and even a Zero Waste Screen Protector! We feature some of their most interesting creations below:

Sunglasses

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Sustainability looks better than ever with Pela’s range of sunglasses. The brand offers a wide range of designs, coming in tons of colors, all at an affordable price point. Best part is, in keeping with Pela’s aspirations, the production of these sunglasses involve 33% less CO2e Emissions, 34% less water usage and 82% less waste compared to conventional sunglasses and packaging. 😱

These sunglasses also offer full UVA/UVB protection, and are durable enough for all your outdoor activities. Another fun feature of these sunglasses is that Pela also offers blue light filtering lenses which you could swap your sunglass lenses for, for protection indoors too!

Plastic-free, easy-apply screen protection

One of Pela’s most unique products is Canopy, an innovative alternative to traditional, more wasteful plastic screen protectors. Instead of sticking on the plastic screen protector on your phone screen (and taking forever to align it properly), simply spray on this liquid screen protector to keep your screen protected against scratches, drops and impact. The liquid is oleophobic (helps with finger smudges), and fits every screen size you can think of. Amazing!

Ethos – radiation reduction

Another crazy invention of Pela’s is Ethos, a radiation reduction tool that protects you by redirecting up to 80% of the electromagnetic field coming from your cell phone. This patented Alara technology pairs with your Pela Case to redirect harmful radiation away from your phone, to reduce radiation, not reception. The brand recommends usage of this product in tandem with Pela cases, which may be purchased separately from the company.

Getting your hands on Pela’s products

Now that we’ve gone through Pela’s amazing line-up, let’s talk about how you can get your hands on their offering. Their full offering is available on their website, which provides detailed descriptions of how each product is made, and how they’re to be used.

It’s amazing to know that Pela offers shipping internally, and even features free shipping to Canda & the US for spending above $20! The brand also offers a 100% money-back guarantee, allowing you to effect exchanges for any reason within 90 days of the date of purchase. 💯

What other customers are saying

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According to Pela’s website, this is the internet’s most well-loved phone case, with almost 50,000 five-star reviews. Pela’s cases are raved about for their design, their grip and the overall eco-friendly backstory.

One customer stated, “I love the feel and the look of this case. I feel great knowing that I have a product that is made ethically and is good for the environment. I will definitely be ordering more even though I have never had more [than] one case per phone…”

Another customer raved, “It’s my second Pela case and I love it! It’s so soft and feels good in your hand, yet it really protects the phone. I also love that it’s not plastic, as I am trying to eliminate my plastic use as much as possible. When I’m done with this case it will go to my garden.

While negative reviews are few and far between, some customers have raised concerns with color transfers in lighter colored cases.

Are Pela cases worth it?

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As you may have noticed from our review above, Pela cases do cost a little more than the average phone case. Bearing in mind the ethos of the company, we fully believe that all efforts made to offset carbon emissions, discover new biodegradable materials and improve manufacturing, make the product truly worth the investment. 

But going beyond beliefs, let’s talk details on the pros and cons of the Pela cases:

Pros:

  • A sustainable and biodegradable case, to support the wellbeing of the environment
  • Supporting a company that partners with various sustainable charities for a better world
  • Shock absorption and durable for knocks, bumps and scratches
  • Military grade 6-foot drop rating
  • Cases come in a variety of colors and designs, with the option of textured cases for optimal grip
  • Free shipping on orders above $25
  • Happiness guarantee

Cons: 

  • Slightly more expensive than your average phone cases
  • Some cases are limited edition, and aren’t always available
  • There may be longer shipping time for customers outside the USA

In our view, the pros to Pela’s cases more than outweigh the cons. Not only are you getting an uber cute phone case that serves practical purposes, you’re also taking an active step towards making the world a more sustainable place – and every step counts!

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