October 2, 2023

3R Trail

Feel the difference

L.A. designer wants to shake up the leather seat business

Vicki von Holzhausen has been producing a identify for herself promoting a vegan leather-based substitute for women’s handbags, shoes and home furnishings.

Now, she’s having her product to the automobile small business.

Late final year, von Holzhausen, the name of her Los Angeles content lab and layout residence, manufactured vegan seat covers for a specifically established variation of the Tesla Product S Plaid on display screen at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

The designer helps make crystal clear — she is not a provider to Tesla. But the challenge served as detect to automakers and to Tier 1 interior suppliers that von Holzhausen is in the dwelling.

“There’s definitely a want from customers for this,” she instructed Automotive Information.

“We are a content innovation enterprise,” von Holzhausen stated, supplying her elevator clarification of the enterprise she began to assemble in 2015. “We create next-era materials that change equally leather-based and plastic. We make points out of our materials in buy to support individuals fully grasp how to substitute these incumbent products.”

Why would automakers be fascinated in changing these elements?

Von Holzhausen, whose job took her via style and design roles at Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Typical Motors, said a change has begun in global automotive supplies. And it just so occurs that this change aligns with her own worldview.

“This has been a lifelong matter for me, because I have been a vegetarian considering the fact that 19, and I have been vegan all as a result of the process of commencing and developing this organization,” von Holzhausen said. “I’ve constantly been extremely anxious about sustainability and the moral treatment of animals. So creating new products that actually go outside of that has been a personalized journey.”

The growth of vegetarian diet plans among shoppers has fueled the shift, while automakers are issuing new marching orders to their offer chains to embrace components and supplies that are environmentally benign, sustainable and recyclable.

“The business desires to move away from petroleum plastics,” said von Holzhausen. “You are not able to put untreated leather in a motor vehicle inside. It has no performance. So you are genuinely conversing about leather-based layered with petroleum plastics.”

Von Holzhausen’s innovation can be summed up in just one term — bamboo, the woody, rapid-rising plant strong adequate to provide as constructing substance and, in some Asian metropolitan areas, as multistory scaffolding for do the job on skyscrapers.

As a result of the miracles of chemistry and material engineering, the von Holzhausen staff converts “banbu,” as they simply call it, into supple programs that are as smooth as lambskin.

Bamboo leather is not 100 per cent plant, but far more like 83 %. The key for von Holzhausen is that its banbu is now experienced for automotive apps.