A new generation of luxury customers has spoken.
Volvo has always marched to its own beat. The Swedish automaker, known for placing passenger safety as a top priority, is now owned by China's Geely and is thriving like never before. With its unmistakable styling and luxury brand status, Volvo has managed to become one of the premium segment's leaders alongside the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz despite being significantly smaller.
A few months ago, it pledged to become an all-electric brand by 2030. Today, it has made another commitment in the name of sustainability. Also no later than 2030, Volvo will be completely leather-free and will instead offer buyers bio-based and recycled materials.
"We have a vision of where we need to go in the future, with the first step to ensure we harness sustainable, natural, and recycled materials," said Robin Page, Volvo's head of design. "The next challenge is to change what we do with these materials, whether that's making car parts that last forever, re-enter the circular economy, or go back into the earth." All-electric vehicles like the Volvo C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge are a fantastic start towards a more green-friendly future, but Volvo admits they're not enough.
In fact, the C40 is already leather-free. In collaboration with The Future Laboratory, a trend forecasting company, Volvo has issued a new report called The Rise of Conscious Design.
The name says it all. It's comprised of several sources, including textile industry and design experts. The conclusion was simple: in order to achieve true sustainability, electric vehicles also had to ditch leather. The leather industry is a major contributor of CO2 emissions. Volvo believes it can achieve 25 percent of interior materials to consist of recycled and bio-based content by 2025.
So, what are these new materials and where do they come from? A couple of examples include PET bottles and recycled corks from the wine industry. It should also be pointed out that Volvo is going completely vegan-friendly. Although it'll soon ditch animal skins, future Volvos will continue to offer wool blend options that are sourced responsibly.