The standard cloth seats in the new Ford F-150 aren’t actually “cloth” in the traditional sense of the word? In fact, they’re not cloth at all. Instead, they’re made from recycled water bottles.
Ford purchases a sewable plastic material from Unifi — a company that crushes, melts, and stretches the recycled bottles into a sewable plastic called Repreve yarn. The 2015 F-150 marks Ford’s latest and by all accounts largest application of Repreve thanks to the material being used to cover the standard seat in Ford’s most popular vehicle. The company says that it will divert 9 million plastic water bottles by using Repreve in the new F-150.
Repreve isn’t exactly new for the Blue Oval, as the automaker has been using it since 2012. The material isn’t strictly limited to use in car seats, either. Chances are, you’ve probably worn Repreve without even knowing it since some North Face fleeces, Volcom shorts, Vitamin A bikinis and other products all make use of the plastic stuff.
Curious about how bottles turn into yarn? Check the “How it’s Made” video.