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Car seats on the catwalk

ford mondeo Picture from MyGreenPod Sustainable News

Car seat covers used in new Ford cars have received a glamorous new lease of life after being recycled for a unique fashion collection.

Emerging designers from Europe and Asia transformed the covers – and other materials and waste from Ford vehicle production – into dresses, jackets and skirts for The Redress Forum: Ford Design Challenge.

Creative use of materials

Held during Hong Kong Fashion Week, the event was organised with sustainable fashion charity Redress to highlight sustainable design in fashion and automotives.

‘Sustainability is a key element of Ford design and it is tremendously exciting to see material from our cars given a new lease of life on the catwalk.

‘Designers have the power to affect environmental waste through their designs and the design process, and can minimise this total impact through the creative use of materials and other innovations. All the creations we have seen are innovative and thought-provoking, and we applaud each participant for rising to the challenge.’

Emily Lai, manager, Colour and Materials Design, Ford Asia Pacific

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Winning design

Taking part were the 10 finalists of the Ford-sponsored 2014/15 EcoChic Design Award, including rising talents from Denmark, France, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Amandah Andersson, from Sweden, used felt and cloth from Mondeo and Kuga seats to help create the winning ensemble in just three hours.

‘Waste-to-landfill is a big issue our planet faces and we at Redress work to raise awareness about how we can reduce this.’

‘The Redress Forum: Ford Design Challenge was a great demonstration of how sustainable design thinking is as relevant for fashion as it is for the automotive industry.’

Christina Dean, founder and CEO, Redress

Ford’s sustainable materials

Since 2001, a dedicated team of Ford engineers has worked to incorporate sustainable materials into Ford vehicles. Today, the company uses recycled plastic bottles, shredded cotton, kenaf, wheat straw, soy beans and castor oil to help reduce consumer and industrial waste, decrease depletion of natural resources and lower energy consumption.

The all-new Mondeo and Kuga use a mixture of 50% kenaf and 50% plastic in interior door panels, reducing individual component weight by more than 30%.

Tomato fibres and Heinz

Ford also is working with Heinz to investigate the use of tomato fibres in developing sustainable, composite materials for use in vehicle manufacturing.

The company is a founding member of the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance, an advocacy group created with the World Wildlife Fund, Heinz, Unilever and other global partners, promoting the responsible development of plant-based plastics.

Since 2000, Ford has decreased its total water use in vehicle production globally from 64 million cubic meters to 24 million cubic meters.

Redress is an NGO that promotes environmental sustainability in the fashion industry. More information about the EcoChic Design Award can be found here.

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