Ford Donates $100K in Leather Hides to Detroit Businesses
During the clear-out of its Product Development Center, which was demolished late last year, Ford discovered $100,000 worth of leather hides used to create vehicle interior prototypes. To ensure that they won’t go to waste, the company donated the haul to a pair of Detroit businesses that support worthy causes.
Ford Fund picked out Pingree Detroit and Mend on the Move to receive the hides. The former is a worker-owned business that employs a large number of veterans. Pingree Detroit uses reclaimed leather to manufacture goods like boots and wallets. According to co-founder and CEO Jarret Schlaff, Ford’s donation will allow the company to further its mission of making Detroit neighborhoods stronger.
Mend on the Move is a Metro Detroit nonprofit that employs women who have survived abuse. They’ll use the leather to create goods like jewelry in the effort of promoting healing and independence.
“This is a unique situation where we are able to donate bundles of real, automotive-grade premium leather to small businesses in Detroit,” said Jim Conner, 3D process director. “We’re excited to see these leather hides that were collecting dust in the basement be put to good use by impactful businesses in the community.”
Ford began demolition of the Product Development Center late last year to make way for a new central building as part of its revamped Dearborn campus. Ford’s color and materials design and fabrication teams to create prototype interiors for the likes of the Ford F-150 King Ranch.