The redesigned 2008 Escape and Escape Hybrid feature the first US automotive applications of 100% recycled fabric seating surfaces. The new fabric significantly exceeds Ford’s internal target of introducing seating fabrics with 25% recycled content into production by 2009.
The 2008 Escape’s new fabric is supplied by Atlanta-based InterfaceFABRIC Inc., a global leader in the manufacturing of environmentally responsible floor coverings and commercial fabrics. The bolster and seating fabrics—named “Eco” and “Nature”—are a dobby weave that is piece-dyed in six colorways exclusive to Ford. The fabric is constructed from a polyester created from off-quality soda bottle resin.
The fabric is a result of a collaboration between teams at Ford and InterfaceFABRIC, and features an innovation in backcoating technology that minimizes the use of commonly used flame retardants (decabrome and antimony trioxide) in favor of a new, phosphorous-based flame-retardant created by InterfaceFABRIC for Ford.
Using more sustainable fabric in production vehicles is yet another step in Ford Motor Company’s journey to long-term sustainability. Given the time and effort required to source, design and validate a new seat fabric, it’s a significant achievement to beat both our recycled-content target and our calendar deadline.—Lisa Nicol, designer for Ford Color and Materials—Sustainability
Ford estimates that, eventually, more than 80,000 of its vehicles will feature the fabric. InterfaceFABRIC estimates that Ford’s use of post-industrial recycled materials, rather than virgin fibers, will conserve annually:
- 600,000 gallons of water;
- 1.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents; and
- The equivalent of more than 7 million kilowatt hours of electricity.
InterfaceFABRIC is a division of Interface, Inc., a leader in industrial ecology whose pursuit of Mission Zero—eliminating negative environmental impact by 2020—means that product and process come from an increasingly sustainable manufacturing environment.