Mini to dump leather in its cars

Mini is taking a big stand.

The British marque is ditching leather from its cars according to a report from UK publication Autocar.

Mini’s design boss, Oliver Heilmer, told the magazine the company will ditch the luxury feature from its future cars in favour of sustainable fabrics.

“We don’t need leather any more in the future, because we don’t believe it’s sustainable,” he said.

“We’re totally convinced that we will have modern and high-value products without leather.”

Leather upholstery and finishes in cars was once seen as the epitome of luxury, but the material has been in decline for some time.

In 2019 Tesla announced it would use only vegan fabrics in the interiors of its Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV.

Many car makers have been striving for a way to become more sustainable as the market has become more aware.

Companies have been using faux leather for years, and many European makers such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover are or have plans to use material made out of recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets.

Audi is expected offer a leather free option in its upcoming e-tron GT electric car.

American electric car start-up Fisker has touted its future Ocean SUV as the most eco-friendly, sustainable vehicle to date.

The Ocean makes extensive use of recycled materials.

The carpet is regenerated nylon made from fishing nets pulled from the ocean, while other parts of the car use discarded rubber waste from tyre manufacturing.

The interior doesn’t use animal products. Instead it has eco-suede upholstery made from recycled polyester from T-shirts, as well as recycled bottles and plastics.

European car makers in general have been driving the move to sustainability as the economic bloc installs ever tightening emissions regulations the move to eco-friendly vehicles has increased.

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