Old blue jeans, discarded T-shirts and dingy cotton rags oftentimes end up in the trash, but Ford Motor Company has found a way to take these sweat-stained materials and spring them back to life in the 2012 Focus. Ford has scavenged together enough recycled cotton to make soundproofing material and carpet backing for the Focus' interior. By using recycled materials, the automaker has helped divert waste from landfills and reduce the need for virgin fibers.
Carrie Majeske, Ford's sustainability manager, believes that consumers will appreciate the automaker's commitment to using eco-friendly interior materials, stating:
So, the next time you're about to pitch your holey blue jeans, think about the bits and pieces of car interior that you're practically throwing in the trash.The good news is these jeans didn't end up in a landfill, nor did we use the water, fertilizer and land to grow virgin cotton. It's an alternative that our customers can appreciate, it's cost effective, and it's better for our planet. These are the kinds of sustainable solutions we are looking for in all our vehicles.
A PERFECT FIT: RECYCLED CLOTHING FINDS A NEW HOME INSIDE NEXT-GENERATION FORD FOCUS
- Ford is using recycled cottons in the interior of the new 2012 Focus as part of carpet backing and sound absorption material
- Cotton from post-consumer, recycled blue jeans is an example of the material used in the new Focus as part of the drive to find creative eco-friendly materials
- The use of environmentally friendly materials is part of the company's commitment to "reduce, reuse and recycle"
The 2012 Focus, on sale early next year in North America and Europe, uses these cottons from recycled clothing in areas such as carpet backing and sound-absorption materials for interior quietness. Using environmentally friendly materials, including recycled clothing, is one part of Ford's overall green strategy.
"Ford is continually looking for greener alternatives," said Carrie Majeske, product sustainability manager. "One of our key goals is to use more recycled or renewable materials without compromising performance or durability. Recycled content is a way to divert waste from landfills and reduce the impact of mining virgin material."
Ford's "reduce, reuse and recycle" commitment is part of the company's broader global sustainability strategy to reduce its environmental footprint while at the same time accelerating the development of advanced, fuel-efficient vehicle technologies around the world.
Over the past several years, Ford has concentrated on increasing the use of non-metal recycled and bio-based materials, including soy foam seat cushions, recycled resins for underbody systems, recycled yarns on seat covers and natural-fiber plastic for interior components.
Creative, eco-friendly solutions
Ford vehicles continue to become more eco-friendly through the creative use of renewable and recycled materials. For instance, one of the clothing materials used in the next-generation Focus is post-consumer cotton that comes from recycled blue jeans.
"The good news is these jeans didn't end up in a landfill, nor did we use the water, fertilizer and land to grow virgin cotton," Majeske said. "It's an alternative that our customers can appreciate, it's cost effective, and it's better for our planet. These are the kinds of sustainable solutions we are looking for in all our vehicles."
The amount of post-consumer cotton from blue jeans used in a vehicle comes out to roughly two pairs of average-sized American jeans, based on pounds of cotton used per yard of denim and the yards of denim used to make a pair of jeans.
"Great fuel economy is our first priority for reducing the vehicle's impact on the environment," said Majeske. "As we deliver that, we also seek to use materials inside a vehicle that reduce the environmental impact as well. The use of recycled clothing is one step, but what else are people discarding that could be used in our vehicles? Ford is determined to find out."
The new Focus is the result of a global product development program bringing together Ford's best engineers and designers from around the world. The high-tech, fuel-efficient Focus will be manufactured in Ford plants in Asia, Europe and North America.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 163,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, production of which has been announced by the company to be ending in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.