Project Hackathon Presents 15 Opportunities for Automotive Leather Use in the Fashion Industry

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We recently teamed up with Miretur Ltd, the University of Huddersfield and luxury fashion house Burberry to explore whether leather used in car seats can be given a second life and turned into a new product. We specifically looked at interiors that are returned to automotive OEMs under warranty, which have no major damage or discolouration but are still disposed of. The end goal of the project was to deliver workable solutions for retailers that are looking to transition towards more circular business models for designing leather accessories. This, in turn, would lead to new revenue streams and reduced demand for new material throughout the fashion industry.

In September 2020, a Hackathon was held as part of the project to identify potential second-life applications for automotive leather within the fashion industry. Prior to the Hackathon, each participant received a “Hack Pack” containing samples of leather, which had previously been used on automotive seats, and an instruction pack, explaining that each participant should use the leather to create a shape that utilises the material most effectively or to design a new product prototype. Participants were also asked to note down their preconceptions of the leather, what they anticipated it would be like, and how it matched up to the leather that was in the “Hack Pack”.

In total, fifteen prototypes were presented, in addition to multiple options for leather re-use. The sheer diversity of the prototypes was very impressive – the group came up with ideas for coin purses, pick cases, jigsaws and more. Given the broad variety of prototypes, it was clear that there is an opportunity to create a supply chain link from automotive to the fashion industry. The outputs and the engagement during the Hackathon also demonstrated an interest in this sector and a willingness to continue collaborations.


Find out more about the Hackathon, by clicking here [link] and accessing the Hackathon Report.

This project was made possible thanks to funding from Future Fashion Factory. A case study about the project is available on their website [link].

For more information about the Hackathon and this project overall, contact Tristan Coats at for more information.


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