Creating catwalk designs from car seat covers

February 12, 2015

Wool, polyester, cotton… car seat covers?

O.K. we don’t expect to see the latter on a list of materials used to make the clothes we wear any time soon.

But for one very special event that was what one team of designers used to put their creations together.

The Redress Forum: Ford Design Challenge event was organised with sustainable fashion charity Redress to highlight sustainable design in fashion and automotive.

And you can see what the entrants, all of whom were finalists of the Ford-sponsored 2014/15 EcoChic Design Award, managed to produce – to a three-hour deadline – here.

The finalists included Kévin Germanier from the U.K. who created an evening gown made entirely from earthy-coloured felt and cloth from Mondeo and Kuga seats.

The winning design for the event, held during Hong Kong Fashion Week, was created by Sweden’s Amandah Andersson and Veronica Lee from Malaysia.

“Waste-to-landfill is a big issue our planet faces and we at Redress work to raise awareness about how we can reduce this,” said Christina Dean, founder and CEO, Redress. “The Redress Forum: Ford Design Challenge was a great demonstration of how sustainable design thinking is as relevant for fashion as it is for the automotive industry.”

Since 2001, a dedicated team of engineers has worked to incorporate sustainable materials into our vehicles, while upholding strict quality and performance standards.

Today, we use recycled plastic bottles, shredded cotton, kenaf, wheat straw, soy beans and castor oil to help reduce consumer and industrial waste, decrease depletion of natural resources and lower energy consumption. The Kuga SUV uses plant-based material kenaf in interior door panels.

Ford also is working with Heinz to investigate the use of tomato fibres in developing sustainable, composite materials for use in vehicle manufacturing.

Sustainable materials are only one piece of Ford’s comprehensive approach to sustainability. Since 2000, Ford has decreased its total water use in vehicle production globally from 64 million cubic metres to 24 million cubic metres.