Gustavo Gonzalez-Quijano, general secretary of Cotance, does not hold back when confronted with yet another vegan stunt: “What nonsense is this?” He writes on LinkedIn. The company Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH) has launched a helicopter model (ACH145) with an animal-free interior. So far, so good. But it has decided to (commercially) christen its alternative material “Ultraleather”. An incorrect and senseless choice, and banned in several markets.
Yet, another vegan stunt
Urs Brunner, owner of ACH, says that the decision to launch the vegan helicopter was not based on any particular market analysis. Rather, it was the insistence of his wife Daniela Brunner, founder of the (self-styled) ethical fashion brand Giulia & Romeo. The result is these “Ultraleather” coatings. The definition is unacceptable, because it lexically attributes to a material that is not leather the nobility that only leather has. A real deception of consumers. Such deceptions are fortunately no longer possible in Italy since the Leather Decree came into force.
A technical question
ACH reassures that the alternative material guarantees “the visual and tactile experience of leather with comparable durability”. But it’s not just a question of aesthetics. Gonzalez-Quijano notes that “leather specifically designed for aircraft, including helicopters, has fire resistance properties that plastic can only dream of. Customers,” he concludes, “should be careful not to forget their parachutes in case of fire…”.