Bentley is well-known all around the world for its luxurious range of cars and its custom-made leather interiors which take as long as 150 hours to create. The cars are known to use hides from up to 20 different animals in each car. But the company is now looking to widen its customer base to include customization which will be agreeable with people leading a vegan lifestyle.
How it all began
Bentley’s director of design Stefan Sielaff stated at the Financial Times Future of the Car Summit that customer demand has prompted the design team to research and implement alternate interior materials in place of the traditional leather interiors. The materials being looked up for implementation will be protein leather, mushroom leather, jellyfish material as claimed by the company
“You can't sell an animal-containing product like a Bentley, with 20 leather hides, to someone with a vegan lifestyle.” Sielaff said while speaking at the summit. “We've been talking to these customers, in California especially, and they're asking us what we can give them. We do a lot of custom-made and coach-built solutions, and therefore we want to satisfy these customers because they are the peak of a trend. We will shortly present a Bentley with a vegan interior; it'll give you a luxury sensation but with different way–protein leather, mushroom leather, jellyfish material”
Protein leather is made from oil in the form of plastic (PVC or Polyurethane). It is popularly known by its slang term ‘pleather’ and is made by bonding a plastic to a fiber backing. It is usually used as a cheap substitute for leather.
Mushroom Leather, more commonly known as ‘MUSKIN’, is a vegan leather which is 100% biodegradable leather extracted from mushroom caps and tanned using chemical free methods. It vaguely resembles suede but is said to be much softer in comparison.
Jellyfish material is a biosynthetic material, the uses of which are still being widely researched. It has been selectively manufactured as proof of concept and will soon be manufactured on a larger scale.
When will it be out?
Bentley has declined to give a date of release for its new custom vegan interior cars but a spokesman has admitted “This is something the design and color and trim guys are interrogating” and that it may be implemented sooner than claimed.
Bentley Motors Limited is not the first motor company to implement vegan based designs. Tesla Inc. received recognition from PETA for using vegan-friendly material in their interiors, though they use only synthetic leather. Model X was the first car launched with an option for vegan interiors.