Is the world ready for GM's "EARTHLUXE" seats?
Across the board, automakers are conscious of the growing environmental concerns among their customers, and General Motors is no exception. The company has, like so many others, committed to an all-electric future when it comes to vehicle propulsion, and forthcoming EVs like the Cadillac Lyriq, Cadillac Celestiq, and GMC Hummer show that GM isn't afraid to invest the funds necessary to get there.
But being eco-friendly extends beyond propulsion, involving things like manufacturing plant emissions, recycling, and environmentally sustainable materials. On that last front, a recent trademark application filed in the US provides some indication of what's next to come.
Just last week, General Motors filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office to secure the rights to the name "EARTHLUXE", specifically as it applies to "upholstery for vehicles; seat covers for vehicles; vehicle seats."
The Detroit-based automaker already uses some sustainable materials in its vehicle seat upholstery, like the synthetic suede with recycled material available in cars like the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Camaro, and Cadillac CT4. In its 2019 Sustainability Report, GM also noted that it is exploring using a yarn made from recycled plastic bottles, similar to a fabric Ford offers in the F-150.
We don't know what sort of production material will bear the "EARTHLUXE" trademark, but one likely recipient might be a new faux-leather seat upholstery. The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, demonstrated outside of GM's headquarters in 2016 to push for the use of "vegan leather" in its cars, trucks, and SUVs, shortly after English singer-songwriter Morrissey of The Smiths fame wrote GM a letter to the same effect.
At the same time that GM filed for a trademark on EARTHLUXE, the company also applied to obtain the rights to "INTELUXE", again pertaining to vehicle seat upholstery. We imagine that's probably an alternative name for the same material, and GM hasn't yet decided which label it prefers. Given that, it could be some time yet before we ever see EARTHLUXE, INTELUXE, or whatever-LUXE in a production car.