Recycled clothing isn’t just for the thrift store anymore. Starting early next year, the Ford Motor Company will release the next-generation Focus featuring used denim in the seats, carpet backing, and as sound-absorption materials for interior quietness.
The amount of post-consumer cotton from blue jeans used in each vehicle comes out to roughly two pairs of average-sized American jeans, based on pounds of cotton used per yard of denim and the yards of denim used to make a pair of jeans.
“One of our key goals is to use more recycled or renewable materials without compromising performance or durability,” said Carrie Majeske, Ford’s product sustainability manager. “Recycled content is a way to divert waste from landfills and reduce the impact of mining virgin material.”
Although the iconic American car manufacturer still has a long way to go before it will be able to shed its gas-guzzling reputation, incorporating more recycled materials in its car designs is a great way to reduce the impact of production and the end cost for the consumer.
Over the past several years, Ford has concentrated on increasing the use of non-metal recycled and bio-based materials, including soy foam seat cushions, recycled resins for underbody systems, recycled yarns on seat covers and natural-fiber plastic for interior components.
“The good news is these jeans didn’t end up in a landfill, nor did we use the water, fertilizer and land to grow virgin cotton,” Majeske said. “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.”
What else are people discarding that could be used to create more sustainable, affordable vehicles? Share your ideas in a comment!
Image Credit: Flickr – Nano Taboada