The substitution of materials for Apple accessories, such as iPhone cases, from leather to a fabric case called FineWoven, is motivated primarily by environmental concerns and decreasing carbon emissions during production. However, one might question the extent to which this material can effectively function as a substitute.
In the case of iPhone cases, Apple explicitly outlines one condition for its use – when used in conjunction with MagSafe, it may result in surface imperfections. If users have concerns about this, it is recommended to opt for silicone cases or clear cases instead. This advice mirrors that given for leather cases, which Apple has stipulated since the iPhone 12, stating that surface marks may occur when used in conjunction with other accessories.
Apple also mentions that the fabric material, FineWoven, may experience slight fraying over time. Nonetheless, this case has undergone extensive testing for thousands of hours and is capable of protecting against scratches and impact damage.
FineWoven is manufactured from microfiber fabric, which Apple suggests offers a soft feel akin to leather, utilizing up to 68% recycled materials.
TLDR: Apple is replacing leather iPhone cases with a fabric case called FineWoven to reduce environmental impact and carbon emissions. However, there may be surface imperfections when used with certain accessories. FineWoven is made of microfiber fabric and provides a soft feel, utilizing up to 68% recycled materials.