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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 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.”

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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.