Sinha, Pammi, Muthu, Subramanian Senthilkannan, Taylor, Iain, Schulz, Rita, Beverley, Katharine J., Day, Claire L. and Tipi, Nicoleta S. (2015) Systems thinking in designing automotive textiles. Textiles and Clothing Sustainability, 1 (1). ISSN 2197-9936

We present the complexities in terms of designing automotive exterior seating materials (seat coverings and
interior linings) at Sage Automotive Interiors (UK), which is a division of a global international automotive textile
supplier with headquarters in the US. Sustainability and innovation are emphasized in documents communicating
the company’s vision. Using a case study approach, we consider the current design, development and manufacture
process and examine it for the potential for feedback loops, identify potential leverage points to effect change and
how the process could divert wastes from disposal. We will highlight where sustainable decisions can be
incorporated and the difficulties in achieving true sustainability. We argue that a systems approach is needed from
conception to final product to ensure economic recycling of textiles and fibres used in automotive seating. Without
which, the reality is at best incineration for energy and/or landfill, thus losing important, finite resources forever
from a diminishing resource pool of raw materials

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