Volvo Cars has said that its range of vehicles will go leather-free or ‘vegan friendly’ by 2030.
Bio-based and recycled materials will be used in place of leather to appeal to consumers’ growing desire for sustainably sourced products.
Speaking to Reuters, Volvo’s head of design Robin Page said: “We’ve got a new generation of customers coming through, they’re far more interested in the products they buy and having an ethical story behind them.
“They want to understand where the materials come from.”
“For someone who loves leather but is aware of the negative effects of leather on the environment, this is a good, modern way to capture the properties but is the right material for the future.”
Volvo has said that the shift towards leather-free alternatives recognises customer concerns over animal welfare issues in the leather industry and the environmental impacts of cattle farming.
The carmaker also aims to cut its carbon footprint by using recycled polyester and linen from flax plants.
These flax plants are grown in Sweden and replenish the soil in between crops. Volvo will also use flax fibres for door panels.
“Consumers are not just focused on the sustainability of the end product but also the material that goes into it, including the sourcing,” said Stuart Templar, Volvo’s director of global sustainability.
Volvo’s move to vegan-friendly materials aligns with its plan to offer an all-electric lineup of cars by 2030.
The currently available all-electric C40 Recharge model from Volvo is already leather-free, and the brand is exploring using materials such as Nordico – made from forestry byproducts, recycled corks and plastic bottles – that head of design Page said has the same “softness and warmth” as leather.
Looking to remove leather from your life? Check out the must-have vegan leather accessories.