“For Alcantara, sustainability is of priceless value: a value for the company, for the employees, for the stakeholders and for society. A value for the future.”
ANDREA BORAGNO, President and CEO of
Since fall 2020, we also offer the high-quality microfiber fabric Alcantara for our stroller handles as an alternative to genuine cowhide and medical-grade imitation leather. At ANGELCAB, we place the highest value on the use of natural materials. Why we nevertheless decided to include the synthetic material Alcantara in our range, you will learn in this article.
Alcantara is a high-quality, high-tech microfiber fabric that has been 100% manufactured in Italy since the 1970s using a patented Japanese technology developed by Miyoshi Okamoto. It is known for its velvety and particularly soft surface, reminiscent of suede, and is made of polyester and polystyrene – but the exact composition is still a well-kept secret. Most people know Alcantara from the automotive sector, where the fabric is often used for seat upholstery or cockpit surfaces. But Alcantara has also long gained a foothold in the furniture industry as an alternative to leather due to its uncomplicated processing and durability as well as its elegant aesthetics.
The most characteristic feature of Alcantara fabrics is the velvety soft velour-like surface and elegant design, which gives each surface an individual aesthetic. In addition, the fabric is particularly durable, breathable and easy to clean. The lightweight material can even be washed and ironed. It feels nice and warm in the winter and pleasantly cool in the summer (just like our wool for the textile parts). In addition, it is a fabric with excellent grip, which is ideal not only for supercars, but also for strollers. Since Alcantara is also lightfast and heat-resistant, the material is also suitable for outdoor use – and daily walks in wind and weather.
All the positive properties of Alcantara suit us very well and can be seamlessly transferred from the automotive and furniture industry to our ANGELCABs. However, that alone was not enough for us. Decisive for our decision to include a microfiber fabric in our collection was not only the high quality of the fabrics but also Alcantara’s pioneering role in sustainability.
Sustainability is a core value of Alcantara’s corporate culture. The high-tech fabrics are manufactured exclusively in Italy. The company has been certified as climate-neutral since 2009 and has published a comprehensive sustainability report annually since 2010. Alcantara fabrics have been in compliance with the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 since 1994.
Alcantara was the first Italian company – and in fact one of the first companies in the world – to be certified as climate neutral by TÜV SÜD for eleven consecutive years since 2009. To compensate for CO2 emissions that cannot yet be avoided given the current state of technology, Alcantara participates in United Nations carbon offset projects. These projects promote the use of renewable energy in disadvantaged and financially weaker areas of the world. These include, for example, wind power plants in Taiwan, Mauritania and India, hydropower plants in Chile, furnaces in Bangladesh, photovoltaic systems in China and water conservation projects in Eritrea.
As a long-term climate goal, Alcantara has developed a long-term decarbonization plan in line with the EU Framework for Climate and Energy Policy, aiming to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 50% by 2030 and by more than 90% by 2050.
Long-term sustainability planning
Alcantara has presented a detailed sustainability report annually since 2010. The company strongly condemns greenwashing and instead puts hard facts on the table to lead the way. With this in mind, Alcantara is also committed to making the entire value chain more sustainable and places high demands on its suppliers.
The long-term sustainability concept for 2021 – 2024 is based on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. 24 specific targets have been defined in the four areas of sustainability: The Planet area is primarily concerned with reducing the environmental impact of the product and its processing, and concepts such as circular economy that focus on recycling. The population also benefits through measures such as health and safety at work, community involvement, promotion of art and culture, international projects with a positive social impact, and increased youth employment. The goals of the prosperity area include improved sustainability in the supply chain and sustainable innovation. And sustainability management includes a sustainability steering committee as well as transparent reporting and the organization of sustainability symposia.