Jaguar-Land Rover’s future models will be partially made of junk. The company announced it’s working on integrating a recycled material named Econyl into its manufacturing process in the coming years.
Created in 2011 by Italy-based Aquafil, Econyl is a fiber made with a blend of recycled industrial plastics, fabric offcuts sourced from clothing manufacturers, and discarded fishing nets aimlessly floating around the ocean. It’s more eco-friendly to produce than oil-based fibers, according to Jaguar, and it helps clean up the planet.
Jaguar and Land Rover will use Econyl to make floor mats in the not-too-distant future. Neither company listed the models they’ll put the material in, but it’s reasonable to assume recycled floor mats will be available in the next-generation XJ, which will be electric, and the next-generation Range Rover. Both will be released in 2021.
Eco-friendly materials are slowly but surely spreading across the luxury car segment. Jaguar already offers the I-Pace with a Kvadrat upholstery that combines regular wool and up to 53 recycled plastic bottles per car. Audi’s fourth-generation A3 is optionally available with an upholstery made largely using recycled plastic bottles, and Volvo estimates at least 25% of the plastics in its cars will be recycled starting in 2025.
Environmentalist organizations are putting an increasing amount of pressure on carmakers to deliver so-called vegan interiors. A group called EarthSight recently accused several companies (including Jaguar-Land Rover and BMW) of using leather from cattle raised on illegally logged lands in Paraguay. Representatives for the British company stressed they found no evidence to verify EarthSight’s claims.