Biodegradable Seat Covers:

Wood is one of our maximum versatile herbal materials. We use it for everything from paper, packaging, and furnishings to houses — and wood-based total textiles which include lyocell and modal are extra sustainable than fossil gas-primarily based substances such as polyester. Lenzing, an industry chief in textiles, makes its very own emblem of lyocell, called Tencel™, which is typically utilized in clothing and home textiles, for hygiene products consisting of toddler wipes, and industrial merchandise which includes netted packaging. Now, thru a new partnership with Swiss automaker Rinspeed, Tencel is expanding into automobile upholstery — and changing what it looks like to take a seat on wooden.
According to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, approximately 86 percent of an automobile’s material content material — which include metallic, aluminum, rubber, plastics, coolant, motor oil, batteries, and so on — is already recycled, reused or used for electricity restoration. Interior fabric additives consisting of car seat fabrics, carpets, protection belts and air luggage simplest quantity to more or less 30 kg, or 2 percentage of the whole weight of a vehicle[1], however across the industry, that still provides up — that’s why it’s worth exploring round options for these materials, as nicely.
We caught up with Robert van de Kerkhof, Chief Commercial Officer at the Lenzing Group, to examine more approximately the blessings of biodegradable automotive fabric.
Why were automotive fibers a compelling enterprise possibility for Lenzing?
Robert van de Kerkhof: Automotive interior fibers were on our radar for some time, and as a part of our vision to pioneer a new enterprise popular for sustainable fibers across the fabric landscape, we accept as true with them to be a herbal extension of our emblem.

We diagnosed the need for the auto enterprise to end up more environmentally conscious. Whilst we have seen a thrilling boom in electric powered automobile generation from each startup and legacy manufacturers alike, which purpose to reduce the enterprise’s carbon emissions, those vehicles’ interiors have not begun to witness the equal renaissance. LENZING Lyocell and Modal fibers will offer advanced comfort, exceptional and reliability to purchasers, and promise extraordinary sustainability for our automobile companions. Materials which includes polyester, nylon and leather-based have already all started to fall out of favor with customers, and producers are now imparting sustainable options in some of their vehicles as a result.
In 2018, we released LENZING™, our distinctiveness logo of fibers which might be specialized for smart industrial answers. Made of wood, LENZING fibers are sustainably sourced, produced via eco-responsible manufacturing strategies, and licensed as compostable and biodegradable. A specialised offering, LENZING for Automotive Interiors develops upon our purpose to foster approaches to reduce environmental impact of the car industry with LENZING Lyocell and Modal fibers, which can be enabled by means of REFIBRA™ technology — which integrates pre-purchaser, upcycled cotton scraps with timber pulp sourced from renewable forests to provide virgin LENZING Lyocell fibers thru closed-loop manufacturing processes — and **Eco Color **generation. Dope-dyed LENZING Modal fibers, enabled by means of Eco Color generation, features long-lasting coloration-fastness and might save as much as 50 percent of power and water, as well as 60 percent discount in carbon footprint at some stage in dyeing system. With such offerings, we hope to set a benchmark for sustainable automobile interiors and inspire fine trade throughout the industry.

How did this collaboration with Rinspeed come approximately?
RvdK: Few automotive brands are as synonymous with ahead-questioning ideas as Rinspeed, which envisions and encapsulates the industry’s destiny. Their 2018 Snap idea, for example, aimed to tackle the following day’s mobility issues in a sustainable way, thereby reimagining our dating with the car. When Rinspeed had been looking to beautify the environmental sustainability of the Snap’s little sister, the Micro snap, we welcomed the possibility to work with such an iconic Swiss clothier.
With sustainability as core attention, the collaboration felt very organic. We both percentage a vision to revolutionize the automobile enterprise and are proud to have the resources to be had to provide modern and sustainable solutions to reduce the enterprise’s environmental impact. Our dedication to the circular economic system complemented Rinspeed’s devotion to a really sustainable vehicle.
We also consider that environmental and social responsibility ought to in no way come on the rate of consolation. LENZING’s Lyocell and Modal fibers that have been provided for the Micro snap elevate the passenger revel in with superb softness and moisture-control skills to help the frame’s herbal thermal law. We remember the fact that automobile interiors have to withstand extended tiers of durability over other fabric programs, and our fibers supply on this. Durability may also mean less textile use in the end.
As an agency dedicated to safeguarding our planet’s sources for future generations, LENZING is usually excited to paintings with brands who experiment with unique principles, work to advance innovation, and decrease the enterprise’s burden on the environment. Manufacturers along with Rinspeed are putting the usual for the future automobile, and we are excited to peer what’s to come. We challenged one another for the higher at some point of the collaboration, and are both extremely happy with the final results. We hope our partnership will raise attention surrounding the adoption of botanic and biodegradable substances, and their blessings for both the enterprise and the customer.
What more can you inform us about the blessings of these materials?
RvdK: Automobile production is inherently complicated. It includes thousands of elements, materials and chemical materials; so far, the industry is still suffering to define sustainability. Nonetheless, most of the people of additives in automobile manufacturing aren’t best sustainable, but additionally, make a contribution to the circularity of the industry. For example, a big part might be recycled materials like underbody covers manufactured from recycled rubber, frame frames fabricated from recycled aluminum and wheel liners product of recycled plastic bottles. [While] there also are bio-based sustainable substances like indoors padding and sound insulation made from recycled cotton, automobile seat fabric and carpets made of LENZING for Automotive Interiors fibers, and cushions and headrests made from soy-based total polyurethane foam — however, the ratio of bio-based or natural materials continues to be very low. Biodegradable in weeks, such botanic fibers beautify bio-primarily based circularity within the automobile interiors section, ensuring a greener car enterprise.
As vehicle manufacturers and equipment producers retain to lead the evolution of the automotive industry towards a greener future, it’s miles critical to now not handiest think about circularity, however additionally utilization of more biodegradable materials. We stay up for working intently with numerous enterprise gamers to contribute to the greening of the automobile enterprise in the end.

Randolph Palmer

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