Paul Smith-Mini collab launches with a focus on sustainability
The previously-announced Paul Smith collab with car brand Mini has launched with the electric Mini Strip custom-made one-off car making its debut this month.
It was part of a whole process that saw the UK fashion label and the British car marque “sharing creative thoughts on sustainable design for the past few months”.
The Mini Strip was guided by “the overarching theme of ‘Simplicity, Transparency, Sustainability’, [and] showcases inspirational ideas for a more sustainable method of automotive design”, we’re told.
The process began by completely stripping down a three-door Mini Cooper SE and reducing it to its structural essence. “Only those elements that the designer viewed as absolutely necessary were then defined, implemented and put in place – with sustainability taking a front seat”.
It’s certainly an interesting vehicle with raw materials made a very deliberate part of the exterior design. This meant the body was left in its unfinished state except for a thin film of transparent paint to protect against corrosion. Grinding marks from the factory can be seen on the galvanised steel panels “to clearly identify the car as a functional object and robust companion for everyday life”.This intentionally rough-hewn effect was also dubbed “the perfect imperfection” by Paul Smith.
It also features visible screws in the add-on parts, “which show how simple dismantling would be and how easily the vehicle could be reincorporated into the raw-material cycle at the end of its service life”. This aspect was inspired by bicycle enthusiast Smith.
Opening the doors reveals the signature Paul Smith stripes in a vivid composition of five colours. And the charging flap adds a splash of neon green when opened, while the engraved drawing of an electric plug on the flap is Paul Smith’s own work.
The interior itself has been radically reduced, turning the bodyshell into the dominant visual feature of the cabin.
And it uses recycled, environment-friendly materials to underpin the car’s sustainability credentials.The interior is completely free of both leather and chrome, with seats upholstered in a knitted fabric. The completely mono-material design for the seat coverings means they’re fully recyclable.
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