Hyundai Motor recycles airbags and seatbelts to make fashion items

Hyundai Motor has launched Re:Style in Europe, a platform for the circular economy. The start of the European Re:Style platform, features a collaboration between Hyundai and the designer Jeremy Scott.

From repurposing airbags and seatbelts in old cars to recycling plastic bottles, sugar cane, grain, and oil, everything that would otherwise be discarded is given a new life. These fabrics and materials are reimagined as a designer’s new threads, accessories, pockets, or as objects that serve as a source of inspiration.

Re:Style made its debut in 2019 in New York with Maria Cornejo, who crafted a unique collection of clothing from waste car seat fabric. In 2020, the project evolved into a platform for collaboration with six designers at the Selfridges store in London. Most recently, in 2021, the company partnered with L’Eclaireur in Paris and Boontheshop in Seoul, expanding its reach and impact even further.

To continue Re:Style’s legacy, Scott launched his one-of-a-kind couture collection in 2023, initially unveiled in Seoul and now for its launch brought to the heart of sustainable living in Amsterdam. Scott’s collection relies on various discarded materials from the car manufacturing process. He intentionally breaks with stereotypes of sustainable design with a haute couture collection consisting of discarded materials, deadstock fabrics and new materials derived from parts such as wheels, seat belts, tail lights and wipers.

During the launch event in Amsterdam Jeremy Scott will be joined by Maria Cornejo. Cornejo’s first Re:Style collection was based on the reuse of fabrics used in the car’s interior. Leather used for seat covers, seatbelts but also airbags were integrated in her collection which will be exhibited next to the latest collection of Jeremy Scott to show the roots of Re:Style.

The essence of Re:Style deeply reflects Hyundai’s profound Korean heritage, originating in the heart of Hyundai Motor Company’s birthplace, the car manufacturer claims. At the core of this fusion is the spirit of Korean culture to preserve old materials, buildings and heritage and repurposing to create something modern and new.

Chris Price