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Ford to use recycled jeans in new Focus compact


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Ford to use recycled jeans in new Focus compact


If you buy a new Ford Focus next year, chances are it will have a couple of shredded pairs of old blue jeans under the floor.

That's because the Dearborn automaker is using recycled cotton clothing such as denim in the sound-deadening material and carpet backing in the Focus, a compact car that goes on sale early next year in the U.S. and Europe.

The company said in a statement today that it's looking for other discarded materials that it can use in cars as part of its strategy to recycle things to divert waste from landfills and reduce the use of virgin material.

"One of our key goals is to use more recycled or renewable materials without compromising performance or durability," Carrie Majeske, the company's product sustainability manager, said in the statement.

In the past Ford has used recycled resins for underbody parts, soy-based foam for seat cushions and recycled yarn for seat covers.

Ford said the amount of recycled cotton in each Focus is equivalent to two pairs of blue jeans.

Ford won't reveal the Focus price, but said it will be competitive with the Honda Civic, which starts around $16,000 in the U.S. The Focus will be made at factories in Asia, Europe and the United States.

Read more: Ford to use recycled jeans in new Focus compact | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101130/BUSINESS0102/101130009/Ford-to-use-recycled-jeans-in-new-Focus-compact#ixzz16mRVOd5h

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Where The Rubber – And Old Blue Jeans – Meet The Road

Ford recycling old clothing for use in new Focus model.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.30, 2010

The 2012 Ford Focus will make use of recycled jeans and other materials.

While some folks routinely give old clothes to charity, those worn jeans and torn sweaters are far more likely to end up in the landfill. But Ford Motor Co. has found yet another, better use for those old bell bottoms.

With the debut of the 2012 Focus, cotton from recycled clothing will be transformed into carpet backing and sound-deadening insulation. Each car will use the equivalent of about two pairs of classic American jeans, the company says.

“Ford is continually looking for greener alternatives,” notes Carrie Majeske, the automaker’s product sustainability manager. “One of our key goals is to use more recycled or renewable materials without compromising performance or durability. Recycled content is a way to divert waste from landfills and reduce the impact of mining virgin material.”

The use of recycled and non-traditional materials dates back to the days of Henry Ford himself, a strong advocate for the use of soy-based materials – some of which came from the soybean crops grown on his vast land holdings near Ford Motor Co.’s Dearborn, Michigan headquarters.

The maker continues to use soy foams for seating, along with recycled plastics and even re-purposed rubber from tires, for applications ranging from interior panels to pedal covers.

The interior of the Nissan Leaf makes extensive use of recycled materials, notably including old plastic soft drink bottles.

Of course, Ford isn’t alone. Nissan, for example, says a major portion of the materials used in the interior of its new Leaf battery-electric vehicle come from recycled sources. That includes the use of fibers from old plastic soft drink containers for sound insulation, seat covers and also front and rear bumpers.

Of course, it doesn’t help to have recycled materials going into a new car if the vehicle itself can’t be recycled when it’s time to hit the junk heap. Toyota claims that about two-thirds of the interior pieces in the RAV4-EV battery car it showed off at the L.A. Auto Show, this month, come from recycled materials – and that more than 80% of the entire vehicle will be recyclable at the end of its lifecycle.

One of the toughest challenges for recyclers is the tire. That’s why millions of old Firestones and Uniroyals lie in dumps across the country where, all too frequently, they either serve as mosquito breeding grounds or, worse, catch fire.

But new solutions have been popping up, such as Ford’s use of ground rubber in such things as brake pedals. Pulverized rubber also can be mixed in with asphalt, and is now being used regular for paving projects.



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