Bentley’s iconic quilted interiors are getting a green upgrade.
The century-old British nameplate has developed a fully organic leather for cabins, as part of its “Beyond 100” plan to become more sustainable. The eco-friendly material will debut in a new Bentley model at Monterey Car Week in California on August 18, but the marque couldn’t resist showing it off on the internet beforehand.
Bentley already uses highly traceable leather hides that are a by-product of the meat industry and would otherwise go to landfill if not for such recycling. “We use eight to 12 hides per car, all of which are sourced in the European Union,” Marc Stang, technical expert leather at Bentley, said in a statement. “Bentley also avoids using hides linked to deforestation, reflecting the work within our supply chain to encourage greener processes.”
The new Olive Tan leather is the first to be subject to a sustainable tanning process that uses an organic by-product of the olive oil industry, though. The tanning agent is derived from the wastewater that is extracted during olive pressing. As such, it has a higher concentration of renewable chemicals and is free of harmful metals, minerals, and aldehydes. This helps to create an organic leather that is “incredibly soft,” according to Bentley.
“Leather is an integral component of our car interiors and a prime element in creating Bentley’s signature finish,” Stang adds. “It is also hardwearing—especially important as 84 percent of all Bentley cars built are still on U.K. roads.”
The automaker says it is the first in the industry to use this Olive Mill Wastewater (OMW) technology from Italian leather tannery Pasubio SpA. It is planning to offer the new OMW-derived leather across the entire product range, too.
Since announcing the Beyond 100 strategy in November 2020, Bentley has made great sustainability strides. The automaker is spending $3.4 billion over the next decade to electrify its lineup and become carbon neutral by 2030. This latest innovation shows that it can achieve its green goals without sacrificing any style points, as well.
Monterey Car Week wraps up this coming Sunday. Stay tuned for Robb Report’s recap.