October 28, 2021

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Phillip Lim Made a Weekender Bag Using Volvo Cars’ ‘Nordico’ Material

Volvo Cars and Phillip Lim teamed up on a weekender bag celebrating their dual ambitions for next-gen values: which increasingly means electric vehicles and vegan materials.

“It felt like the perfect synergy or marriage because they approached us to create a bag that would be put into the car. It’s really the forces coming together…for a global conscious citizen,” Phillip Lim, cofounder and creative director of 3.1 Phillip Lim, told WWD. “If there’s an intention behind this, if there’s an alignment in values, good things can happen that don’t have to compromise what we think of as luxury. It’s a new way of approaching luxury in a more conscious, eco manner.”

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For the weekender bag, Lim used Nordico — a high-quality and innovative material made by Volvo from recycled wine industry corks and recycled plastic bottles (rPET), among other bio-based sources. The material will make its debut in Volvo’s next generation of fully electric cars beginning with the C40 Recharge.

“There’s all these new recycled opportunities,” said Lim. “When we worked with this material, we were so surprised at how supple and how easy it was to still make the form the way we wanted to. You didn’t realize you were working with an alternative [to leather].” Lim has been an advocate for eco materials, even trialing an algae material for dresses.

Meanwhile, the automaker produced its “The Rise of Conscious Design” report in September, showing the growing demand for responsible design choices. The Swedish automaker plans to go fully electric by 2030, and it says it will ditch animal leather along the way, too.

“We have a vision of where we need to go in the future, with the first step to ensure we harness sustainable, natural and recycled materials,” said Robin Page, head of design at Volvo Cars, adding that he believes the collaboration with Phillip Lim “solidifies both our ambitions to challenge the wider design industry to reconsider the materials we use.”

The weekender is not available for purchase. Instead, a limited number of bags will be given away through local market initiatives such as competitions, charity auctions and giveaways.

Volvo affirmed the collaboration “was created to help demonstrate the future of sustainable materials and how something environmentally friendly can still be beautiful and luxurious.”

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