Last week, Jaguar Land Rover announced that the next-generation Jaguar and Land Rover models will feature Econyl nylon, a fabric made from ocean and landfill waste.
The move is part of the auto company’s commitment to move towards its Destination Zero mission, to make the environment safer and cleaner while offering a premium sustainable option.
The floor mats and trims of the new cars will be made with Econyl fibre. The fabric is made from recycled industrial plastic, fabric offcuts from clothing manufacturers, fishing nets from the farming industry, and those abandoned in the ocean– known as ‘ghost nets’.
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Aquafil, the company that manufactures Econyl, recycles 40,000 tonnes of waste in a year, reducing the global warming impact of nylon by 90 per cent compared to manufacturing new nylon from crude oil.
When it comes to sustainability, automakers are not just thinking of electric vehicles but also sustainable materials for the interiors of the cars. These are being done without compromising on design and luxury. Land Rover Evoque currently offers a premium Eucalyptus Melange, a hybrid plant-based material developed by Land Rover, which is paired with an animal-free, anti-microbial polyurethane material for the seats.
The 2021 edition Velar as well as Jaguar’s all-electric I-PACE offers the option of using Kvadrat, a premium textile alternative to leather for seating. Kvadrat combines durable wool with a technical Dinamica suedecloth, made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle.
Dinamica is an ecological and high performance microfiber made using recycled polyester from PET bottles and plastics. It is 100 per cent recyclable at the end of its useful life, thanks to the use of neutral and non-toxic dyes.
Mercedez-Benz has been using Dinamica in several of its cars as an option for upholstery, trims and the steering wheel such as in the C-Class (C43 AMG, CLA 200, CLS 450 4Matic), the new generation A-class, AMG GT AMG GT Coupé and the Maybach S 650.
Earlier this year, the German car manufacturer unveiled a futuristic car concept VISION AVTR with Dinamica upholstery and Karuun, a compressed timber product made from sustainably harvested rattan, for the floors and dashboard trim.
Bentley also introduced sustainable luxury into its cars last year while celebrating the brand’s centenary. In 2019, they unveiled the new Bentley EXP 100 GT, an electric concept car which uses innovative, sustainable materials like vegea, a material made from grape skins, seeds and stalks that are leftover from the process of wine making. The zero emission car’s cabin trims are created from 5,000 year-old copper infused ‘river wood and the car’s exterior body paint, Compass, is made from recycled rice husk ash, an industrial by-product.
Volvo’s electric sub-brand Polestar is using environment friendly alternatives to work towards full-circle sustainability for its vehicles. 3D-knit fabric for seats made from recycled PET bottles, interior plastics infused with waste cork products and carpets derived from recycled fishing nets are some of the innovative concepts that are implement in the car’s design. These alternative materials also lighter than traditional ones.
It’s clear that to be truly sustainable we have to evaluate every element that goes into our cars,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. “For Polestar, sustainability is not just about the electric powertrain. With the development of these innovative new solutions that we will introduce in our future cars we make a strong statement of our intentions,” shared Polestar in a press release in February 2020.