Some fashion houses such as Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham have long refrained from using animal derivatives in their products, while some car manufacturers, including Audi, BMW, and Land Rover, and Tesla have the option for their customers to choose cars that feature leather-free upholstery and are made from sustainable materials.
To this day, Volvo is one of the very few brands that have announced that they will completely refrain from offering any cars that use leather, not even as an option, in any of their vehicles.
Currently, electric truck maker Rivian offers vegan “leather” seats in its R1T pick-up trucks, without any option of leather seats or inserts.
Volvo is set to begin implementing this transformation next year with the C40 Recharge, a rechargeable SUV with a range of more than 200 miles per charge.
The company will continue to do so until 2030 when all Volvo electric vehicles will be skin-free.
In an exclusive video interview announcing the changes, Volvo executives told Bloomberg that the decision stemmed from studies and expectations about market trends as much as it was about concern about the ethical treatment of animals.
“We are seeing that our customers’ expectations have changed,” said Robin Page, Head of Design at Volvo. “They are changing their fashion habits and the products they buy. They want to know more about materials and their sourcing, and where they come from, people are becoming more aware of the change. climate, and its impact on the planet.
According to a report issued by the research company “Infinium Global Research”, which was based on the Director of International Sustainability at Volvo, Stewart Templar; The vegan leather market is expected to reach 73 billion euros ($85 billion) by 2025. By that time, a quarter of the materials used in new Volvo cars will be made from recycled, organic components, Page says.
Also, all direct suppliers of the company, together with suppliers of materials, will use 100% renewable energy.
“Consumers are no longer focused just on the end product, but also how it is produced, and that includes getting it responsibly,” Page said.
In this context, Volvo will offer a new blend of wool, made by authorized suppliers, as the company strives to provide full traceability and ensure the welfare of animals in its supply chain.
It will also use Microtek, a type of suede-like fabric made from recycled polyester, as well as using ingredients made from environmentally sustainable linen.