Vegan-friendly motoring: Mini drops leather interiors in the name of sustainability
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What's more fashionable than leather interiors in 2021? According to Mini's new sustainability model, it's being eco-friendly.
Just recently, the British brand revealed plans of how it's going to become more environmentally responsible without losing the 'Mini' touch, and ditching cowhides is the first step.
This comes as a bold move from the brand, as it was recently revealed that 54 per cent of Minis sold over the last year in the UK were optioned with a leather interior.
“We don’t need leather any more in the future, because we don’t believe it’s sustainable,” MINI design boss Oliver Heilmer told Autocar. “We’re totally convinced that we will have modern and high-value products without leather.”
It turns out that ditching leather is just the start. “The fabric in the production seats is now 100% recycled. The lining underneath is 70% recycled. We’re looking to create a timeless design. A one-season design, like fashion, isn’t our aim with the design of future Minis,” Heilmer added.
“It’s inventive simplicity. Materials will be recycled, but they’re luxurious at the same time. And inventive in terms of function. For instance, we used cork in the Urbanaut [concept]. The aesthetics will be coming more from a home perspective, rather than an automotive one.”
So as well as attempting to keep the essence of the classic Mini present in all new cars, the brand is planning on leaving the smallest possible footprint with each one that's built.
Heilmer finished by referencing the speedy John Cooper Works models at the top of the Cooper line-up, saying that they will retain the same driving thrills.
“I personally believe that there will still be an emotional connection that we have to keep for our hardcore fans in order to have those John Cooper Works pinnacle products that are purely for driving pleasure.”