By 2030, Volvo cars will not only be fully electric but also leather-free, in a new animal welfare commitment from the leading motor brand.
Volvo’s commitment to using high quality sustainable textiles and materials instead of leather seeks to address animal welfare and environmental concerns related to cattle farming. The company said its first model to go leather-free will be the C40 Recharge.
“Being a progressive car maker means we need to address all areas of sustainability, not just CO2 emissions,” said Stuart Templar, director of global sustainability at Volvo Cars in a statement.
“Responsible sourcing is an important part of that work, including respect for animal welfare. Going leather-free inside our pure electric cars is a good next step towards addressing this issue,” he said.
Sustainability is now just as important as safety. Starting with the introduction of the new #C40Recharge, all fully electric models will be 100% leather- free.
— Volvo Cars (@volvocars) September 23, 2021
Volvo is also trying to find alternatives to other materials connected to livestock production such as plastics, rubber, lubricants and adhesives.
The company’s leather-free move is designed to tap into a consumer-driven “era of conscious design” in the next five years with growing demand for sustainable natural fibres, reused and recycled materials.
The trends driving this new era are detailed in a report, The rise of conscious design, released by Volvo Cars and consultancy The Future Laboratory to coincide with the announcement.
The report states that demand for new ethical and sustainable textiles is forecast to increase by 150% by 2050, with new materials seeking to replace fossil fuel derived fabrics, or materials involving animal welfare concerns and water or chemical intensive processes.
It predicts an ‘era of conscious design’ will emerge over the next five years driven by consumers.
Key trends identified in the report include natural luxury (sustainably sourced natural fibres), repurposed richness (reused and recycled materials), positive impact materials (which restore biodiversity) and experimental textiles.
Volvo joins Tesla, which in 2019 went leather-free for the Model 3 and Model Y.
Model 3 interior is now 100% leather-free 🐄 pic.twitter.com/2F47zp8A4T
— Tesla (@Tesla) August 31, 2019