Leather Proves to Be a Problem for Car Interiors

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Sustainability is now at the forefront of many industries, and car manufacturing is no exception. Transitioning to electric vehicles has become a big focus for car companies, but Volvo has recognized another area for improvement.
Bloomberg reported that Volvo plans for its cars to be leather-free by 2030 to help cut down on emissions from the meat industry.
Closeup of black leather
Volvo has decided to stop using leather in its cars.

What materials will Volvo use instead of leather?

The production and consumption of livestock account for 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions, as reported by Bloomberg. This data has drawn the attention of companies like Volvo that use leather in their products. Volvo plans for all of its vehicles to be leather-free, and they will start this shift in 2022 with the release of the C40 Recharge.
Instead of leather, Volvo has lined up a variety of sustainable options. This includes Nordico, which are textiles made from recycled material like plastic bottles. They will also use recycled wine corks, Microtech, made from recycled polyester, as well as responsibly sourced wool blends.
According to Volvo, this will be a challenging task, but not one they will shy away from.

Are any other brands going leather-free?

No other manufacturer as big as Volvo has promised to ban leather entirely, but other brands have joined the anti-leather movement. In 2019, Tesla said the Model 3 was “100% leather-free,” as reported by CNBC. Last year, the brand promised the Model Y would also not include any leather.
Rivian has made their electric R1T and R1S vegan as well. The 2021 Porsche Taycan has also combined electric driving and leather-free seats, though the brand still offers leather as an option.
Other brands moving in the leather-free direction include BMW, Land Rover, and Audi. The combination of electric cars and vegan interiors will likely become more popular as brands try to appeal to green buyers and meet emissions goals.
This step for Volvo will put them at the front of the pack in terms of reducing emissions.

Volvo will continue to focus on sustainability

Shifting away from leather is part of Volvo’s plan to become a more sustainable company overall. Volvo announced that it intends to manufacture only electric cars by 2030. Moving forward, the brand will require all its suppliers to be powered completely by renewable energy.
Volvo hopes that 25% of materials in its new cars will consist of recycled and bio-based content by 2025. If Volvo can achieve these goals, it could inspire other brands to find similar ways to reduce their environmental footprints.
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