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Vehicle Manufacturers Embracing Vegan Materials

When it came to vehicles, carbon fiber interiors and Leather seat covers used to be

Land Rover Creative Director Massimo Frascella is a practicing vegan. At the New York International Auto Show, he revealed the latest development from the company, their successor to the height of luxury represented by Leather seat covers; vegan materials.

The company will be using several leather-free and fully vegan materials for their 2020 Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Velar, and Jaguar I-Pace SUVs.

Namely, the company will be using these materials, and others, to provide vegetarian options for conscientious consumers:

  • Eucalyptus Melange, a textile made from eucalyptus fibers, and significantly less water than most traditional products, while also retaining the ability to be dyed as needed.
  • A durable wool blend, made by Kvadrat, that feels like soft wool sweater.
  • Dinamica Suedecloth is a suede-like microfiber made from recycled plastic bottles, both exceptionally durable and flameproof.

Land Rover isn’t the only carmaker that’s looking to appeal to the eco-conscious demographic.

Volvo has stated that they’re working to making at least 25% of the plastic-like surfaces in their vehicles come from sustainable materials, as opposed to oil, by the time 2025 rolls around.

As for Asian manufacturers, Toyota Motor Corp. are making seat-cushion materials using glycol taken from renewable sugar canes, rather than oil, while Hyundai Motor Co. uses ground-up volcanic rock for their support pillar coverings.

Audi AG’s VP for Product Management, Filip Brabec says that this is part of a growing global trend; consumers are becoming more and more aware of the implications of how humanity lives in the world, how we affect the environment, as well as how and what we eat.

Business Consulting Firm Grand View Research notes how, by 2025, the synthetic leather industry will be valued at $45 billion, with automotive applications foreseen to be the second-largest demographic for renewable textiles, following home furnishing.

Traditional materials and Leather seat covers still have a place in the industry, as evidenced by Bentley’s recent endeavors.

Land Rover, for its part, is anticipating the market to focus more on eco-conscious products as consumer tastes change. For that reason, it’s introducing eco-conscious textiles in the Evoque model. Notably, this particular model isn’t the company’s flagship model, as that’s the Range Rover Sport, but it does make for a good model for marketing Land Rover as an upscale, forward-thinking addition to their collections.

 

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