Recognising that the automotive sector is undergoing its biggest period of change in its history, the Leather Naturally initiative debunks the idea that oil-based fabrics are more sustainable than leather.

As the OEMs tend to replace leather, an organic material, in electric vehicles and some hybrid types with oil-based plastics and synthetics, the Leather Naturally (LN) initiative highlights that properly made leather is one of the most sustainable materials the car companies could use. “All the evidence so far suggests that cars will be expected to work harder and last longer. Leather as a tactile, long lasting low maintenance material fits perfectly as a sustainable contemporary fabric which is totally relevant for the demands of this fast-evolving world”, says the LN.

As reported by ILM, after turning its back on leather seats, Tesla said its Model 3 and Model Y are to go fully ‘vegan’ in 2020, with other carmakers such as Audi and Volkswagen also exploring plant-based alternatives to leather. “It is a misrepresentation of science and not only illogical, but perverse when the stated objective is improved sustainability”, said LN, referring to the use of ‘vegan’ alternatives in car interiors, adding that leather is perhaps one of the world’s oldest recycled materials.

From ILM