Lear Corp. ReNewKnit suede-like material for automotive interiors made from recycled plastic bottles
Image courtesy of Lear Corp.

Lear Corp. launching automotive interior fabric made from recycled plastic bottles

Called ReNewKnit, the suede-like material will be produced at company facilities in the U.K. and Poland.

Automotive seating and e-systems producer Lear Corp., Southfield, Michigan, has announced a fully recyclable sueded material it says is expected to launch in seating and door panel applications with a global automaker in 2024.

Lear says the new material, called ReNewKnit, is a first-to-market automotive textile that is fully recyclable at its end of life, manufactured with recycled materials at the company’s facilities in the U.K. and Poland using 100 percent renewable electricity.

The company says the material, developed by Guilford Performance Textiles by Lear, is composed of 100 percent recycled plastic bottles. ReNewKnit fibers are spun from polyester yarn and finished with a foam-free recycled fleece backing that further reduces water and energy consumption during the manufacturing process.

Lear says the material “challenges perceptions of reused and recycled textiles with a wide range of surfaces suitable for various interior applications and improved functionality”.

“At Lear, we are positioning our surface material offerings to what we believe is the future—a global circular economy where repurposed textiles can be infinitely recycled to become the ultimate raw material for sustainable manufacturing and design,” says Frank Orsini, executive vice president and president of Lear’s seating business. “ReNewKnit aligns with the vision automakers have for offering a premium look and feel without sacrificing the sense of luxury and performance expected from a suede-like material.”