Bentley’s head of design has revealed the company is working on alternate materials that will allow the British brand to sell to well-heeled vegan customers.
The Crewe manufacturer is well known for its luxurious interiors, which can feature up to 20 animal hides in their leather upholstery and trimming. However, in a bid to move towards more cruelty-free, sustainable alternatives, Bentley’s Director of Design, Stefan Sielaff, has revealed at the Financial Times Future of the Car Summit that customer demand has persuaded the design team to investigate alternatives to the traditional materials.
“You can’t sell an animal-containing product like a Bentley, with 20 leather hides, to someone with a vegan lifestyle,” Sielaff said. “We’ve been talking to these customers, in California especially, and they’re asking us what can we give them. We do a lot of custom-made and coach-built solutions, in conjunction with our colleagues at Mulliner, and therefore we want to satisfy these customers because they are the peak of a trend.
“We will shortly present a Bentley with a vegan interior; it’ll give you a luxury sensation but with a different way – protein leather, mushroom leather, jellyfish material.”
A Bentley spokesman declined to give an estimated arrival date for the new interior materials but admitted, “This is something the design and colour and trim guys are interrogating.”
Vegan Food & Living has reached out to Bentley to confirm whether the jellyfish material mentioned by Sielaff is vegan-friendly, as jellyfish are increasingly being used to create leather-like materials due thanks to overfishing and climate change, which has seen the number of jellyfish soar.