Saab has embraced E85 as an alternative fuel in Europe as a way to offer good performance and relatively good emissions using small turbocharged engines. Because ethanol has a higher octane rating than gasoline, boost pressure can be raised, allowing for a higher specific power output. It also helps that Saab already had a history of being quirky and using turbocharged engines in their vehicles. As an added bonus, it also gets to capitalize on the "green" aspect of the biofuel, and is leaving no eco-stone unturned. For the New York Auto Show, the Swedish brand be showing off its 9-X BioHybrid concept and the 9-4X BioPower concept. But its latest foray into being eco-friendly is the Pure BioPower Eco Clothing Collection, which was created in conjunction with the Swedish clothing design firm Reflective Circle.

The Saab/Reflective collection, which currently
includes T-shirts, button-down shirts, jersey shirts, a ladies shirt dress and tennis shirts (more coming soon), is made from 100 percent ecological/organic cotton certified by Skal International, an independent inspection and certification organization. One highlight of the collection is the use of the Coroso nut, which comes from Palm trees found in rain forests, for their buttons - as opposed to molding them from plastic.

Fans of the simple Scandinavian design ethos who prefer organic clothing will be able to purchase the Pure BioPower Eco Clothing Collection starting in May at www.saabexpressions.com.

[Source: Saab]
Press Release:

Saab Thinks Big by Acting Small, Introduces the "Pure BioPower Eco Clothing Collection"

The Swedish premium car brand, Saab, has made a business out of producing fun-to-drive vehicles combining its Scandinavian design principles of form and function with responsible performance. Today, Saab is translating those values to clothing, launching the Pure BioPower Eco Clothing Collection in partnership with the Swedish clothing design firm Reflective Circle.

The fashions were revealed at an exclusive pre-New York Auto Show party where the Saab 9-X BioHybrid concept made its North American debut. A glimpse of what a future compact car from Saab could look like, the Saab 9-X BioHybrid concept is designed to reflect the priorities of youthful customers seeking progressive looks, responsible performance and high-tech communications in a fun-to-drive package.

The Saab 9-X BioHybrid concept is E85 bioethanol-capable and is equipped with the next-generation GM Hybrid system. Joining the Saab 9-X BioHybrid concept at the party and at the auto show is the E85 bioethanol-capable Saab 9-4X BioPower concept, which debuted in January in Detroit. Both concepts reaffirm Saab's commitment to develop cars that save fuel and produce fewer emissions.

"Many of our customers tell us they want to make a positive impact on the environment not only with the cars they drive, but also with the products they buy and use," said Knut Simonsson, Saab Automobile AB Global Brand & Sales Operations executive director.

Performance and responsibility go hand-in-hand

Customers demand quality, durability and performance from automobiles as well as clothing. Saab and Reflective Circle both work to bring innovative solutions to minimize environmental impacts, while maintaining attributes which customers demand.

Saab has a 30-year history of turbocharging technology, which takes advantage of smaller engines to deliver higher performance and greater efficiency. Turbocharging, coupled with the use of E85 (85 percent bioethanol, 15 percent gasoline), termed Saab BioPower, fulfills the customer expectation of fun-to-drive, high-performance vehicles with the added benefit of enhanced performance and cleaner burning fuel. This is part of what Saab calls "Responsible Performance." In 2007, Saab was the best-selling brand in the flex-fuel segment in Europe with the 9-3 and 9-5 BioPower vehicles.

Reflective Circle , formed in 2001 by Swedish designer Josefin Lassbo, is dedicated to sustainable, ecological fashion, produced ethically. In accordance with the Reflective Circle holistic design process, every part of the production is equally important. In terms of fashion, it means the use of ecological materials, fabrics and processes as well as fair trade and conduct toward employees

"When Saab decided to launch a clothing collection, we wanted to do it in cooperation with someone who shares our mindset," said Simonsson. "This partnership is not only about design or fashion, it's also about having the same ambition: pushing an industry by innovating where other see conflict."

Putting the 'Pure' in the Pure BioPower Eco Clothing Collection

Garments in the Pure BioPower Eco Clothing Collection by Saab/Reflective are made from 100 percent ecological/organic cotton, certified by Skal International*. The mission of Skal is to offer certainty to the consumer that a product that indicates "organic" truly originates from an organic production process. The organization conducts independent surveys and inspections. Therefore, each step in the Pure BioPower Eco Clothing Collection's production process must be taken with consideration for the environment. Fabric dyeing, printing and washing is done in an environmentally certified system.

In an added effort to support and broaden consideration for the environment and the link to fashion, Saab Automobile USA is donating $40,000 to the Earth Pledge FutureFashion Initiative. The Earth Pledge FutureFashion Initiative demonstrates that fashion can be sustainable. Working with the fashion industry, Earth Pledge promotes renewable, reusable and organic materials and methods. The donation will help the non-profit organization with an exciting program to be announced at a later date.

Little Things Mean A Lot

An innovative twist on the Scandinavian design principle of form and function is the Coroso Nut. The buttons in the Pure BioPower Eco Clothing Collection are made from Coroso nuts. Coroso nuts come from Palm trees found in the rain forests. Using these nuts to make buttons is an organic, sustainable solution to fabricating synthetic materials to make buttons. It's a small element to be sure, but it serves to hold things together. " The benefit with the Coroso nut is that its harvest leaves the rain forest untouched," Simonsson added. "Even more, the use of the Coroso nut gives an economic use to the rain forest and so helps to protect the rain forest."

The Pure BioPower Eco Clothing Collection is committed to the environment – social as well as natural. Social responsibility is at the heart of the commitment. The factories producing the clothing are committed to ethical practices by vigilantly adhering to standards such as freely chosen employment; no tolerance of child labor; payment of a living wage; healthy and safe conditions; and reasonable working hours.

Pure BioPower Eco Clothing Collection by Saab/Reflective

The Pure BioPower Eco Clothing Collection by Saab/Reflective is women's, men's and unisex apparel and accessories. The clothing pieces in the first collection include T-shirts, button-down shirts, jersey shirt, ladies shirt dress and tennis shirts. Additionally, the line will grow with items such as caps, scarfs, belts, bags as well as pants and a business wear collection. All items in the first collection will be available late May for purchase online at www.saabexpressions.com .

Saab is a division of General Motors Corp. Saab Automobile USA is the importer and/or distributor of Saab 9-3, 9-5 and 9-7X automobiles for Saab Automobile AB, Sweden. For the 2008 model year, XM Satellite Radio and OnStar standard on the entire Saab line-up. Additionally, all new Saabs have no-charge scheduled maintenance, and the Saab 100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. Visit www.saabusa.com for more information.

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* Skal International is an inspection and certification organization, which certified organic products, processes and inputs. Skal International inspects and certifies sustainable forest / wood and textiles and operates worldwide.

About Reflective

Reflective was founded in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2001 by Josefin Lassbo. Since then, the company has continuously strived to establish the concept of sustainable, ecological fashion clothes, produced ethically. Reflective wants to represent an alternative for the Reflected Consumer, who not only demands a well designed surface, but also a well designed karma.

Reflective Circle is a design company with a heart. The company mainly works within the sphere of fashion and its own line of clothes, but also within education and the design of social visions. Everything the company does emanates from the same core – an ethical base which is built of soft values.

Every step of the design process is equally important. Everything matters: form, function, economy, production, retail, choice of materials as well as social relations, local transformations, and global visions.

About Josefin Lassbo

Josefin Lassbo was born in 1973, in Gothenburg, Sweden, as the oldest of four sisters. She practically grew up in the sewing studio and behind the theater stage, as her mother was a studio tailor. From the age of 11, Josefin aspired to be a fashion designer, and at the age of 18 she received her first prestigious prize at the international design contest "Jeunes créateurs des modes" in Paris. After being educated within the field of arts and fashion for almost 10 years, she graduated in 2000 as a Master of Fashion Design from the Danish Design school in Copenhagen.

While working in the commercial fashion industry of Sweden, she founded her company Reflective Circle International in 2001. Since then, she works as leader and head designer for Reflective Circle . Additionally, she provides consulting services for other companies, which includes her own concept of "Holistic design service," and teaching and lecturing the same concept. According to the holistic design process, every part of the production is equally important. When it comes to fashion, it means the use of ecological fabrics and fair trade. Finally, Lassbo is the mother of two energetic, little boys.