New challenges bring together strange bedfellows, and the ever-pressing threat of climate change has certainly fueled that fire in more ways than one. As brands continue to re-imagine a world where their products are not a threat to the future of the planet, the need to evolve has delivered some truly innovative results. For example, take the latest from Volvo and New York designer 3.1 Phillip Lim, who collaborated on a limited-edition weekender bag that speaks to the possibilities of rethinking materials.

Earlier this year, Volvo announced that all its vehicles would be electric by 2030. Furthermore, the interiors of its forthcoming electric vehicles would be leather-free, instead being made of a post-waste material called Nordico. Made from recycled PET bottles, recycled cork and “bio attributed” material sourced from forests in Sweden and Finland, Nordico gives the same premium feel as leather, but without the cows or the climate damaging farming methods needed to raise them.

To illustrate the luxuriousness of Nordico, Volvo called on Phillip Lim who, with his label 3.1 Phillip Lim, has been at the forefront of sustainable design. Lim designed a limited-edition weekender bag for Volvo, which riffs off his signature Pashli bag, streamlined, and made for gender-neutral appeal.


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“Our brand mantra is to make less, mean more,” said Lim last week at his New York store in Soho, where an intimate crowd had gathered to hear him and Volvo’s head of design, Eric Beak, discuss the collaboration. “Connecting with Volvo on this sustainability project, was an instant alignment of values,” said Lim. “I strongly feel that in our collective current state of mind, we have the freedom to find sustainable solutions with new materials, while still being able to achieve high design, which is the ultimate luxury.”

Jason DeCrow for Volvo

While the bag is not available for purchase due to the exclusive limited-edition run, people may have opportunities to get hold of a limited number of bags through charity auctions and giveaways. In a future of less truly meaning more, you’d be wise to prepare for limited-edition runs. “As a brand, we’ve always been really mindful of how we [work], so with that mindfulness, how do we clean that up even more?” Lim said at the event. “Going back and reworking fibres is huge, and so is using our platforms and our collaborations to deliver this message.”

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