British car manufacturer Mini will make all future models leather-free

Read Time:   |  4th February 2021

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Mini will make all future car models leather-free as part of a sustainability drive, according to Design Head Oliver Heilmer.


Move aside Tesla, the humble British Mini is coming for your sustainable crown.

The iconic British automotive brand Mini will be making a huge effort to become more sustainable by making all future car models leather-free.

In its non-leather cars, MINI already uses 100% recycled materials for the fabric seats and the seat cushions are 70% recycled. However, the brand aims to go even further, by doing away with leather altogether.

‘We don’t need leather any more’

In an interview with Autocar, Mini’s Head of Design, Oliver Heilmer, said: “We don’t need leather any more in the future, because we don’t believe it’s sustainable.

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

“We’re looking to create a timeless design. A one-season design, like fashion, isn’t our aim with the design of future MINIs.

“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.”

Like parent [company], like child

It seems that Mini is taking after its parent company BMW, as the German brand announced last year that all of its 5-series cars would replace leather with the cruelty-free material Sensatec.

Writing a review of the 5-Series new material on Instagram, car journalist Thomas Majchrzak explained, “8 years ago, people said it would be “extreme” to ask for animal skin leather alternatives on car seats.

“Nowadays, we are aware of the suffering that is involved for humans, animals and the environment and we know that ripping off the skin of a sentient living being for furniture and cars is “extreme” while there are plenty of great other and more sustainable choices – just like in the BMW5Series car interiors.”

And BMW is not the only manufacturer trying to make its brands more sustainable, as Audi and Volvo have also made efforts to remove leather interiors.

We can’t wait to see the new and cruelty-free Mini, and we hope that more car manufacturers follow in its footsteps.

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