clothing finds a new home inside Ford Focus
Old clothes turn up in plenty of places –
the hamper, the bottom of a closet or behind the washing machine.
They’re also found in the next-generation Ford Focus, albeit
in different and more useful forms.
The 2012 Focus, on sale early next year in North America and
Europe, uses these cottons from recycled clothing in areas such
as carpet backing and sound-absorption materials for interior
quietness. Using environmentally friendly materials, including
recycled clothing, is one part of Ford’s overall green strategy.
According to Carrie Majeske, product sustainability manager,
“One of our key goals is to use more recycled or renewable materials
without compromising performance or durability.”
Over the past several years, Ford has concentrated on increasing
the use of non-metal recycled and bio-based materials, including
soy foam seat cushions, recycled resins for underbody systems,
recycled yarns on seat covers and natural-fiber plastic for interior
Ford vehicles continue to become more eco-friendly through the
creative use of renewable and recycled materials. For instance,
one of the clothing materials used in the 2012 Focus is post-consumer
cotton that comes from recycled blue jeans.
“The good news is these jeans didn’t end up in a landfill, nor
did we use the water, fertilizer and land to grow virgin cotton,”
Majeske said. “It’s an alternative that our customers can appreciate,
it’s cost effective, and it’s better for our planet. These are
the kinds of sustainable solutions we are looking for in all
The amount of post-consumer cotton from blue jeans used in a
vehicle comes out to roughly two pairs of average-sized American
jeans, based on pounds of cotton used per yard of denim and the
yards of denim used to make a pair of jeans.
“Great fuel economy is our first priority for reducing the vehicle’s
impact on the environment,” said Majeske. “As we deliver that,
we also seek to use materials inside a vehicle that reduce the
environmental impact as well. The use of recycled clothing is
one step, but what else are people discarding that could be used
in our vehicles? Ford is determined to find out.”
The new Focus is the result of a global product development program
bringing together Ford’s best engineers and designers from around
the world. The Focus will be manufactured in Ford plants in Asia,
Europe and North America.