Reuse of Automotive Seat Leather for the Fashion Industry

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Image: © JinnaritT / Adobe Stock


It is generally accepted that it takes eight cow hides to manufacture a single car seat. When the vehicle is no longer in use and finds itself in the scrap yard, the seats are discarded and go to waste. Cow hides are often discarded before they even make it onto a seat, for errors in details such as stitching. What would happen if a new player were to be introduced in the value chain, so that the maximum value of these cow hides could be captured? That’s exactly what HSSMI’s new project, in partnership with Miretur Ltd, a luxury fashion house and other partners will seek to answer.

Leather in the automotive sector is no longer seen as the luxury it once was, and many car seats today have leather seats fitted as a standard. Seats are one of the most commonly reupholstered parts of a vehicle, as they receive near constant wear and tear. Their design for removal makes them ideal for a second-life application.

This new project will investigate how leather from automotive seats could be reused in the fashion industry to create boutique products. HSSMI will lead the work on creating a feasible business model, including identifying potential commercial end users, understanding their requirements, and assessing overall commercial viability. It is anticipated that the business model will give rise to new economic models for processing second life materials into new products.

Savina Venkova, Circular Economy Manager at HSSMI, says: “We’re excited to use our network to bring together businesses from the industries of automotive manufacturing and luxury fashion in order to create more circular value chains. In a world that is increasingly challenged by resource scarcity, volatility, and shocks, HSSMI is passionate about bringing about innovative ways of thinking and driving collaboration between partners from different industries.”


More about our partnership with the Future Fashion Factory is available in this HSSMI press release.

More information about the Future Fashion Factory and the projects funded under this round is available here (this link takes you to the Future Fashion Factory website).


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