Powered by
Subscribe to the only car newsletter you’ll ever need

Polestar won’t move away from leather until a sustainable replacement is found


Polestar’s head of sustainability claims that the idea of a vegan car with the current state of manufacturing is a “lie to consumers”

Pitched as a performance car brand that’s determined to improve the world that we live in, it’s little surprise to see that sustainability is a priority for Polestar.

Speaking this week at a media event in Sydney, Polestar’s global head of sustainability Fredrika Klarén explained that sustainability doesn’t end with the type of fuel that a vehicle is powered with, it encompasses the whole production process.

This holistic approach is applied to sustainable materials in Polestar’s vehicles as well, with interior materials needing to be just as sustainable as the ones that propel the vehicle.

Synthetic leather isn’t an option for buyers of the Polestar 2

Buyers currently have three choices when it comes to the upholstery in the Polestar 2, including cloth, Weavetech, and nappa leather. Polestar currently doesn’t offer a synthetic leather option, something that’s down to the material’s heavy use of PVC, according to Klarén.

Leather has a storied history in automotive manufacturing, popularized for its luxury connotations, and hard wearing nature.

Polestar has previously expressed interest in replacing the leather that is used in its interiors with something more sustainable, but has found it difficult to find a material that provides the same longevity.

WeaveTech and nappa both come as $6000 options in the Polestar 2

“We chose to stick with leather, because we see that we can’t replace it in a sustainable way,” she said.

Klarén then went on to explain the importance of sourcing responsibly harvested leather, and being picky in which suppliers are used.

“We source leather from very conscious and responsible companies like Bridge of Weir that we use. They are working with regenerative farming processes, they have the highest standards of animal welfare.”

Polestar space Oslo 2022
Performance is a key metric for Polestar

Bridge of Weir, the leather supplier that Klarén is referring to, is located in Scotland, and has been operating as one of Europe’s largest leather production facilities since 1905.

As to not increase meat production or carbon emissions from farming, Polestar ensures that the leather is only a byproduct of an animal that is already set for slaughter, and that the value of the leather is less than one percent of the value of the animal.

“It’s a byproduct that we have to use. It’s not sustainable to just discard this, the meat industry will be here,” she said.

Polestar 3 2023 nappa seats
The Polestar 3 will also be available with nappa leather seats

Along the same lines, Klarén was also happy to discuss the vegan movement in the automotive industry, claiming that “it’s a lie to consumers.”

“It’s a term that is greenwash, because you cannot say that a car is vegan. We have animal products all over the place. We have grease, we have animal content in synthetics in plastics,” she said.

“Yes, you can have a vegan upholstery alternative like we have. We want to ensure that as a vegan, you’ll have an alternative to move away from leather if you buy a Polestar 2. But we will never make a claim that we have provided you with a completely vegan car,” Klarén added.