Essential information for end of life vehicle dismantling, depollution and recycling


Reuse of automotive seat leather

HSSMI partners with fashion house, Miretur Ltd to reuse leather from automotive seats to create boutique products


reuse automotive seat leather post

It is generally accepted that it takes eight cowhides to manufacture a single car seat. When the vehicle is no longer in use and finds itself in the scrapyard, the seats are discarded and go to waste. Cowhides are often discarded before they even make it onto a seat, for errors in details such as stitching.

What would happen if a new player were to be introduced in the value chain so that the maximum value of these cowhides could be captured? That’s exactly what HSSMI’s new project, in partnership with Miretur Ltd, a luxury fashion house and other partners will seek to answer.

Leather in the automotive sector is no longer seen as the luxury it once was, and many car seats today have leather seats fitted as a standard. Seats are one of the most commonly reupholstered parts of a vehicle, as they receive near-constant wear and tear. Their design for removal makes them ideal for a second-life application.

This new project will investigate how leather from automotive seats could be reused in the fashion industry to create boutique products. HSSMI will lead the work on creating a feasible business model, including identifying potential commercial end-users, understanding their requirements, and assessing overall commercial viability. It is anticipated that the business model will give rise to new economic models for processing second life materials into new products.

Savina Venkova, Circular Economy Manager at HSSMI, says: 

“We’re excited to use our network to bring together businesses from the industries of automotive manufacturing and luxury fashion in order to create more circular value chains. In a world that is increasingly challenged by resource scarcity, volatility, and shocks, HSSMI is passionate about bringing about innovative ways of thinking and driving collaboration between partners from different industries.”

More about their partnership with the Future Fashion Factory is available here.

More information about the Future Fashion Factory and the projects funded under this round is available here.



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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.