Plastic bottles, soybeans and old yarn—not typically the first three things that come to mind when you think about your car seat, but Ford is ready to change that.

Change—and sustainability—have been part of Ford’s vision for some time, and it’s something that continues to inform how (and from what) seats are made. It all began in the late 2000s with a new strategy and some old yarn.

An infographic looking at all the eco-friendly technologies that make up a Ford car seat

A step in the green direction

Even in 2008, sustainability was top-of-mind for Ford. So much so, that we required a minimum of 25 per cent recycled content in seat fabrics. Certain vehicles went above and beyond, and that year’s model of the Ford Escape Hybrid featured a seat entirely made of fabric containing recycled yarn. Talk about a step (and a seat!) in the green direction.

Recycled yarns are used in the fabric of Ford car seats

Ford went even further with the 2013 Fusion, when it became the first vehicle to use seat fabric from recycled materials including plastic bottles (which have the potential to produce as much as 1.5 million yards of fabric annually!). It’s not only a remarkable feat, but it speaks volumes to Ford’s commitment to sustainability—both internally and with suppliers.

Leading the way with sustainable materials

You may not have heard about a yarn called REPREVE® made by Unifi, but it’s a material made from post-industrial and post-consumer waste, and it represents the kind of sustainable manufacturing techniques that Ford supports. Through collaborating with innovative companies like Unifi, Ford takes our environmentally conscious products to the next level.

Recycled yarns are used in the fabric of Ford car seats

Today, these sustainable, green fabrics can be found across 15 vehicle lines, including the Mustang, F-150 and Taurus, with our interest continuing to grow on a global scale—sustainable material standards and sourcing quality recycled products that meet Ford’s stringent quality tests are also a part of that vision (without increasing cost to the customer, mind you).

Recycled yarns are used in the fabric of Ford car seats

As we continue to innovate and challenge suppliers to focus on their environmental efforts, Ford remains an automotive industry leader when it comes to sustainability. In fact, Ford’s own Mike “Dr. Derriere” Kolich, a well-known seat comfort engineer, is one of the many who work on seat innovation—from ergonomic design and optimized construction to greener materials.

Mike “Dr. Derriere” Kolich, Ford’s own seat comfort engineer

It started with a vision for a better, greener seat. Only tomorrow knows just how far we can take it.