Ford Company has begun the effort of making vehicles more sustainable. That is why the new Escape model will come from now on with kenaf fiber material for the interior door bolsters.

The tropical plant, which looks just as the bamboo and is related to cotton, replaces oil-based materials inside the doors. The use of this eco-friendly material is believed to offset 136,000 kg of oil-based resin per year in North America and to reduce the door bolsters by 25%. A lighter car means fuel savings as well. The oil of this plant is already used in cosmetics and its fiber as alternative wood to produce paper.

“Kenaf and the other renewable materials in the Escape have made the vehicle more environmentally friendly and fuel efficient,” says Laura Sinclair, materials engineer for the Escape.

But this is not the only eco-friendly material that Ford has in its plans: soy foam, which will be used for seats and head restraints, recycled plastic bottles and other post consumer materials, and 10lbs of scrap cotton from the manufacturing of denim jeans. These will make the car 85% recyclable at the end-of-life. The new Escape will be available to customers this spring.


  1. I am a grower of kenaf and would like to invite those interested in having people join with me in growing kenaf in Belize. I will be joining with Bill Loftus to put on a 12 day workshop on growing, harvesting, processing and using kenaf in Williston, Florida in September 2012. I will be joint venturing with Ecologic Technology Institute to put on a kenaf workshop in Atlanta, Georgia in August 2012. If you want to know more about kenaf join the kenaf community on facebook You may also visit my website


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