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Kona PremSe64k 2020+bluelink +ohme
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Discussion Starter #1
One thing I agonised over when buying my Kona was to try to avoid leather to align my purchase with my vegan ethics. Remember the ethical definition of veganism is to "minimise the harm to animals." I judged that there was no other car that matched our requirements. Note that at time of purchase the EV market does not have any where near the wide choice that fossil fuel car owners have. Also note that by the time we come to the end of 2020 I think the choice will be much, much wider.

And so down the Hyundai and the Kona. Because of mileage requirements we deemed we needed the range that the Premium SE model gave. But it wasn't just the range. I have a weak right elbow because of arthritis, so having electric controls on seat height etc is invaluable. However with that model came so called leather seats. There is no trim choice that provides non-leather and thus my quandry.

Now I think leather in cars is not simply straight leather. Much of it is mixed if not entirely replaced by faux leather. Without being an expert I could not do better than ask Mr Google. An article on leather Read the Fine Print: It's Not Leather | The Hog Ring from 2014 in Australia says a disclaimer for interior trim described by Hyundai as “leather seating with heated front seats” goes on to say “finishes specified as leather may contain elements of genuine leather, polyurethane leather (leather substitute) or man-made materials, or a combination thereof”.

Now this is clearly saying there at least may be and probably is some cow hide in the car's seats. But probably it is mixed with man-made leather, and indeed there may be substantial man-made equivalent. Or perhaps that's just my hope!

Okay let's focus on it from a company's sales/marketing perspective. Traditionally they have sold cars with leather trim to justify a better quality car with a premium trim. But times are a-changing. Now with the rise of veganism some manufacturers are moving over to faux-leather for a variety of reasons including production costs, durability, suitability and so forth. Frankly the days of leather being the better product are over. But manufacturers still cling on to selling cars with leather to justify a premium pricetag.

Some manufacturers have moved over. Tesla are leaders here but other premium brands are not far behind.

Whatever I have bought I have done the best I can. And whatever I would have bought it would not have been entirely vegan. So whichever car I went for it was going to be a trade-off.

So I feel guilty and that feeling will always remain.

My guess is that come a year or so and most manufacturers will be ditching real leather like crazy because it will be percieved slowing car sales down.
 

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Donkeys years ago, shoe mfrs tried using synthetic leather to make shoes with. Potentially lots of advantages, e.g. it came in nice rectangular sheets/rolls and you could nest the shoe-shapes you wanted very closely, and it didn't take skilled operator to do this. The traditional job required a knowledge of how the shoe components flex & stretch, as natural skins have highly directional, and variable, degrees of stretchiness. Clickers are higly skilled guys!

Tradenames like Corfam, Clarino & Porvair appeared. I bought a pair of black shoes made, I think, from Porvair. After a few months, the uppers cracked badly across the top near the toes where there's most flexing. I don't have a lot of faith in the durability of synthetic leathers as a result!
 

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I specifically went for an I-Pace as there was an option to have a non leather interior.
The mind boggles that we consider ourselves a nation of animal lovers but are happy to sit on dead animals in the belief that it is more luxurious, even if much of it is faux.
Very happy with my choice in the I-Pace, it's far more comfortable to sit on and exudes far more quality than the other options, imho.
£1600 option though!
 

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Kona PremSe64k 2020+bluelink +ohme
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Discussion Starter #4
I specifically went for an I-Pace as there was an option to have a non leather interior.
The mind boggles that we consider ourselves a nation of animal lovers but are happy to sit on dead animals in the belief that it is more luxurious, even if much of it is faux.
Very happy with my choice in the I-Pace, it's far more comfortable to sit on and exudes far more quality than the other options, imho.
£1600 option though!
If I had the extra money to consider an Ipace, yes... But we were pushing ourselves as it was.
 

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Leather roasts or freezes your backside depending on the time of year anyway.

I've got cloth seats in the Ioniq and haven't had any issues with the quality or feel.
 

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MG EZS 2020
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MG EZS has completely faux leather (heated front) seats and electric adjustment in the Exclusive model. Very comfortable. Worth a try.
 

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Is it not true that leather is a byproduct of the meat industry and no animal actually dies for it's leather?
 
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30KW Tekna (2017)
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It all hinges on your personal reasons for being vegan, if it’s for the health benefits of eating a whole food, plant based diet then the leather seats will not matter. If you are a vegan because your concerned about cruelty to animals then you would not be buying a car with leather seats, you would be choosing a more ethical manufacturer that does not use dead animal skin just to cover a seat in.

I fall into the former group, I don’t eat animal products due to the health reasons but am clear not to call myself a vegan when talking to people as it construes a belief I cannot uphold with my leather seated Tekna seats!

btw If I had the choice I would have got cloth, you don’t slide about, seat covers stay in place and I think cloth lasts longer with no splitting or creasing.
 
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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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One thing I agonised over when buying my Kona was to try to avoid leather to align my purchase with my vegan ethics. Remember the ethical definition of veganism is to "minimise the harm to animals." I judged that there was no other car that matched our requirements. Note that at time of purchase the EV market does not have any where near the wide choice that fossil fuel car owners have. Also note that by the time we come to the end of 2020 I think the choice will be much, much wider.

And so down the Hyundai and the Kona. Because of mileage requirements we deemed we needed the range that the Premium SE model gave. But it wasn't just the range. I have a weak right elbow because of arthritis, so having electric controls on seat height etc is invaluable. However with that model came so called leather seats. There is no trim choice that provides non-leather and thus my quandry.

Now I think leather in cars is not simply straight leather. Much of it is mixed if not entirely replaced by faux leather. Without being an expert I could not do better than ask Mr Google. An article on leather Read the Fine Print: It's Not Leather | The Hog Ring from 2014 in Australia says a disclaimer for interior trim described by Hyundai as “leather seating with heated front seats” goes on to say “finishes specified as leather may contain elements of genuine leather, polyurethane leather (leather substitute) or man-made materials, or a combination thereof”.

Now this is clearly saying there at least may be and probably is some cow hide in the car's seats. But probably it is mixed with man-made leather, and indeed there may be substantial man-made equivalent. Or perhaps that's just my hope!

Okay let's focus on it from a company's sales/marketing perspective. Traditionally they have sold cars with leather trim to justify a better quality car with a premium trim. But times are a-changing. Now with the rise of veganism some manufacturers are moving over to faux-leather for a variety of reasons including production costs, durability, suitability and so forth. Frankly the days of leather being the better product are over. But manufacturers still cling on to selling cars with leather to justify a premium pricetag.

Some manufacturers have moved over. Tesla are leaders here but other premium brands are not far behind.

Whatever I have bought I have done the best I can. And whatever I would have bought it would not have been entirely vegan. So whichever car I went for it was going to be a trade-off.

So I feel guilty and that feeling will always remain.

My guess is that come a year or so and most manufacturers will be ditching real leather like crazy because it will be percieved slowing car sales down.
If you want to rationalise it, consider this; middle aged men, in particular, develop very slow metabolisms and don't grow much. Veganism and vegetarianism is entirely OK for them, they aren't growing muscle and such. So they try veganism, it works, can't see any issues with it, feel much better for it in fact because meat eating is just too many calories anyway, but in some cases lean towards believing that it is then true for everyone.

Kids are the opposite and need meat to build up their muscles and immune system. (I am sorry to say, but they do, just look at countries where kids eat meat routinely and those that don't.) We've evolved to have meat in our diets, and the kids that ate meat out-competed the ones that didn't.

The leather you sit on is only from the animals that necessarily fed our next generation so they can grow up to be healthy middle aged vegans.
 

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Leather seats in cars is old fashioned and 'naff' even without the vegan argument. I would absolutely specify cloth seats if an option if possible as I have taste.
 

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Agreed. I also think leather steering wheels are naff. But some prefer them. I'd prefer the option in any trim level.

FWIW Some of the synthetic leathers last better than the 'real' stuff.
 

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FWIW Some of the synthetic leathers last better than the 'real' stuff.
Real leathers need care and attention, which virtually no-one does.

However during the lockdown I shall be giving my seats the whole makeover.
 

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You'll find in most budget cars the leather seats are far from leather. The most likely thing to be leather is the steering wheel as its more durable so much longer lasting than other materials.
I'd ask the manufacturer directly and point out your vegan so would like to know as it will affect your purchase decision and would like assurances on it.
 

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I specifically went for an I-Pace as there was an option to have a non leather interior.
The mind boggles that we consider ourselves a nation of animal lovers but are happy to sit on dead animals in the belief that it is more luxurious, even if much of it is faux.
Very happy with my choice in the I-Pace, it's far more comfortable to sit on and exudes far more quality than the other options, imho.
£1600 option though!
I've never been that fond of leather interiors really.

I did one of the Jaguar events at Milbrook for the I-Pace and drove several over the day - one had that premium textile interior. The JLR test driver I was with was pretty dismissive of it but I thought it looked and felt brilliant.

The OP is right, there's less and less leather content in most car interiors now - what's called leather will be often very thin and laminated with other materials for strength, and only on surfaces you're in contact with. Seat sides and backs will be faux leather. More are just going for faux leather (vinyl) outright.

Last time I was at the Design Museum, JLR's sponsorship/advertising was cushions on the central benches/staircase made from all the various vegan textiles they offer or are experimenting with now - all felt really nice, hardwearing, premium-looking stuff. It's mostly from recycled bottles or things like plant fibres that are agriculturual byproducts.
 

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Leather seats in cars is old fashioned and 'naff' even without the vegan argument. I would absolutely specify cloth seats if an option if possible as I have taste.
I actually kinda agree, however with kids having wipe-clean leather seats is very useful.

Agreed. I also think leather steering wheels are naff. But some prefer them. I'd prefer the option in any trim level.
FWIW Some of the synthetic leathers last better than the 'real' stuff.
My current car has cloth seats but a leather steering wheel and I definitely like that. You have to hold it all the time and leather steering wheels just feels nice.
 

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FWIW Some of the synthetic leathers last better than the 'real' stuff.
Fabric is still difficult to care for, especially if you have children - vomit and chocolate are difficult to clean out of fabric. You can legislate for the latter, but not the former!

Personally, I like other man made materials like Alcantara - it's hard wearing, easy to clean, and feels premium. Premium synthetic leather such as Mercedes Artico and Audi Twin Leather also feel pretty much indistinguishable from the real thing, and have the benefit of being harder wearing.
 
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