Ford has opened up a new front in the battle for the title of world’s greenest car manufacturer, revealing that the latest version of its popular Focus model will feature an interior made using old jeans and t-shirts.
The car, which will be on sale from early next year in North America and Europe, uses cotton from recycled clothes for the carpet backing and sound-absorption materials found in the car.
According to the company, around two pairs of average-size jeans are enough for each vehicle.
“The good news is these jeans didn’t end up in a landfill, nor did we use the water, fertiliser and land to grow virgin cotton,” said Carrie Majeske, product sustainability manager at Ford. “It’s an alternative that our customers can appreciate, it’s cost effective and it’s better for our planet. These are the kinds of sustainable solutions we are looking for in all our vehicles.”
The announcement is the latest development in Ford’s wider green agenda, which has seen the company pledge that it will have five new electrified vehicles on the road in North America and Europe by 2013.
It is also not the first time Ford has turned to recycled materials to burnish the green credentials of its cars. Upholstery in some of its SUVs are already made from old plastic milk bottles, and in recent years it has increased the use of non-metal recycled and bio-based materials, such as soy foam seat cushions, recycled resin for underbody systems, recycled yarn on seat covers and natural-fiber plastic for interior components.
Currently, more than two million Ford vehicles on the road contain soy foam, which has allowed the company to reduce its annual oil consumption by three million pounds (1,364 tonnes) and CO2 emissions by 11 million pounds (4,990 tonnes).
Meanwhile, wheat straw has cut oil consumption by 20,000 pounds (nine tonnes), saving 30,000 pounds (13.6 tonnes) of CO2.
“Recycled content is a way to divert waste from landfills and reduce the impact of mining virgin material,” Majeske said. “The use of recycled clothing is one step, but what else are people discarding that could be used in our vehicles? Ford is determined to find out.”
Source: businessGreen-news, 2010-12-22.