What is SensaTec Leather?
In a nutshell it isn’t leather at all its vinyl in your BMW, they used to call this leatherette, but rebranded to call it SensaTec, a play of words we guess as vinyl sounds as cheap and nasty as leatherette does. Sensatec = synthetic.
I think you’ll find there’s more cow in us from eating steak than there is in a BMW seat!
Sensatec seats are made from synthetic materials, manmade fibres coated in PVC or polyurethane and contains no animal by-products at all.
SensaTec plastic seats are common in almost all BMWs produced today unless a premium is paid for genuine leather or the model of BMW is high up in the chain.
A claim is that Sensatec wears better, is easier to clean and the damage risk is greatly reduced, is fiction. We’ve found that BMW seats wear quicker, stains easier and don’t last as long as a genuine leather seat so the impact on the environment with these so called environmentally friendly seats is somewhat backwards as more have to be produced to cope with the demands due to damage happening within a few month of purchasing, compared to many years with genuine leather seats.
Factories are having to work more and churn out more seats. The end results are more damaging to our environment than standard leather seats.
With anything that isn’t genuine leather you can feel the difference. They will be cold, plastic stretchy materials that crack, split and don’t last like leather.
BMW SensaTec interior seating
When taking care of your artificial leather care must be taken on what products you use, it’s best not to use a product with oils, alcohol, or ammonia in them as this can cause damage to the pleather coating, its best to use a product that leaves a coating behind to help stop dirt build up and dye transfer.
Mercedes = Artico
Lexus = NuLuxe
Tesla = Tesla Premium
BMW = SensaTec
What’s even more amazing today is that pineapple leaves are being used to make leather seats! That could be prickly.
Pineapple Faux Fibres – Piñatex
These leaves of the pineapple contain a strong flexible fibre that can be turned in to a faux suede, amazingly these when made are 1 quarter the weight of a genuine leather skin.
Pineapple leaves once the flexible fibres are extracted are turned into sheets via a felting method and given a waterproof coating. The leftover biomass is then turned into fertilisers.
Pineapple fibre faux sheets and products.
Pineapple Faux leather sheets – Piñatex
Walking boots, made from a rubber sole and a pineapple faux leather upper – Piñatex
This is now being rolled out into the automotive sectors, but being classed as biodegradable, how can that be the case with petroleum-based resins? The UNEP issued a report in 2015; ‘The adoption of plastic products labelled as ‘biodegradable’ will not bring about a significant decrease either in the quantity of plastic entering the ocean or the risk of physical and chemical impacts on the marine environment, on the balance of current scientific evidence. Petroleum and its by-products, such as the one used in Piñatex, are disastrous for climate change and other environmental concerns.