In an inventive turn that brings it into contact with the clothing industry, German automaker Mercedes-Benz has determined how best to use the materials accumulated from discarded airbags: send it to Heron Preston and let the designer and his fashion house use them to fabricate some high fashion threads.
The news comes as the airbag hovers around its fiftieth birthday. The transition moves the material from automotive utility to wearable utility, as Preston’s style puts a flashy spin on the look of classic work clothes.
Using airbag materials to make duds may seem like a high expression of recycling; it is, which is why the transitional process is more aptly termed upcycling. In this case, upcycling results in a fashion line for both men and women.
As for Mercedes, it receives a burnishing of its sustainability badge.