Updated: Feb 27, 2020
Some automakers, including Audi and Tesla, are making at least partially vegan car interiors. The Volvo-owned Polestar brand joined the game with its Polestar 2, which comes standard with a leather-free and vegan cabin. Now, Polestar is looking to make its interiors even more sustainable by getting creative and exploring materials ranging from flax to recycled plastic bottles to fishing nets.
The flax is used in a natural fiber composite solution from Bcomp, which Polestar says differs from some bio-materials because it doesn't directly compete with food crops. (Indeed, with global food supplies racing toward being outstripped by populations, it's not a bad idea to try sourcing car interiors and edible stuff separately.) Polestar says this composite not only can help reduce plastic content in its interior panels by a whopping 80 percent, but that it is said to be stronger and lighter than traditional interior plastics. With less of the stronger material needed to match current plastics' performance, Polestar can shave mass by as much as 50 percent. And, in the unfortunate event your Polestar crashes, the automaker claims that the Bcomp panels boast better crash behavior—i.e., they're more forgiving when meeting human heads or limbs—too.
Polestar is also exploring a unique material for its seats. The base material is comprised of 100 percent recycled yarn derived from discarded plastic bottles, and since the material is made exactly to size, waste is eliminated from the production process (consider traditional seat coverings, which need to be trimmed, etc. ).
Soon, Polestar might furnish its interiors with recycled cork and used fishing nets. Polestar says that whole bottle stoppers and waste material from the cork manufacturing process can be incorporated into its cabins and—we suppose, given the brand's Swedish roots—stylishly. The Nylon 6 from old fishing nets would be used in woven carpets. If some of this is sounding familiar, recall that the Audi E-Tron GT concepthas seat fabric made from recycled plastic bottles and floor coverings made of old nylon fishing nets. Fordhas long played with soy-based seat foams, as well. With consumers seeking out sustainability in their products, be they shoes, air travel, or, yes, even car interiors, prepare to see a lot more inventiveness in your car interior's supply chain in the near future.
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