Volvo swears off using leather in all future EVs
Following the example of its sister brand Lynk & Co, which uses materials from recycled fishing nets and PET bottles, Volvo today announces it swears off using leather upholstery in all its future pure electric cars. The first will be the C40 Recharge. From 2030 on, all Volvo’s will be 100% electric.
“As part of its ambitions to go completely leather-free, Volvo Cars is working actively to find high-quality and sustainable sources for many materials currently used in the wider car industry,” the Swedish carmaker says in a press release.
Instead of animal leather, Volvo will offer alternatives such as ‘high-quality sustainable materials made from bio-based and recycled sources.’ It mentions creating Nordico, a new interior material that “consist of textiles made from recycled material such as PET bottles, bio-attributed material from sustainable forests in Sweden and Finland, and corks recycled from the wine industry.”
Negative impact of cattle farming
“The company’s move towards leather-free interiors is also driven by a concern about the negative environmental impacts of cattle farming, including deforestation. Livestock is estimated to be responsible for around 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, with the majority coming from cattle farming.”
“Finding products and materials that support animal welfare will be challenging, but that is no reason to avoid this important issue,” said Stuart Templar, director of global sustainability at Volvo Cars.
“This is a journey worth taking. Having a truly progressive and sustainable mindset means we need to ask ourselves difficult questions and actively try and find answers.”
Not all animal love only
But it’s not all pure love for the animals that herds Volvo into that direction. “Two-thirds of consumers consider a brand’s environmental policies as a critical factor when purchasing luxury products, according to a recent study,” Volvo points out. The study referred to is “Luxury’s increased focus on sustainability” from the Vogue Business Index, Winter 2020.
These and other conclusions appear in The Rise of Conscious Design, a new report issued by Volvo Cars in collaboration with trend forecasting company The Future Laboratory. That report bundles interviews and insights from thought leaders and designers from a variety of industries.