The car industry is well and truly focused on reducing emissions to hit strict targets around the world.
But in the background, there is a quiet revolution under way with a number of car makers looking beyond lowering emissions to contribute to sustainability.
It’s a move that not only makes brands look socially responsible but also plays to the public’s growing awareness of what they consume and how it tallies to their values – whether it be what they eat, what they wear or which car they drive.
Only last year, Jaguar Land Rover revealed its Kvadrat material on the Velar as a premium alternative to leather. Kvadrat combines a wool blend with a suede cloth made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle, claims JLR.
Then, last week, at the reveal of the second-generation Evoque, JLR announced a cheaper, sustainable alternative too.
Buyers going for the top HSE trim of the Evoque can choose the Kvadrat material, while those opting for S or SE trims will be able to go for a PU and eucalyptus textile.
The car maker said the “eucalyptus mélange is Land Rover’s first plant-based seat material – created with a blend of 30% Tencel fibres and 70% polyester”. The eucalyptus is sourced from certified forests and is a quick-growing plant, we’re told.
The PU “utilises pioneering technology recapturing and recycling 99% of the solvents required for its production”, according to JLR. It added that it is also non-allergenic, odour-free, anti-microbial and lightweight.
Talking about the move to offer sustainsable materials as an alternative to leather, JLR interior design chief Amy Frascella said: “Land Rover Design are very proud of delivering these new materials into a mass production vehicle – we believe offering choices to our discerning customers is very important now and more so in the future as expectations of what defines luxury materials and values continue to shift.”