•  Innovating with recycled leather, Gen Phoenix offers eco-friendly luxury materials, benefitting airlines economically and environmentally.
  •  Despite pandemic challenges, Gen Phoenix introduced the antimicrobial leather range ‘Essence,’ and diversified into new markets, attracting major investments.
  •  Collaborating with partners, Gen Phoenix plans to launch fully circular, low-carbon aircraft seats at AIX 2024, advancing sustainability in aviation.

Gen Phoenix, is an English textile manufacturing company based in Peterborough, UK, founded by Chris Bevan in 2007, developing patented technology to transform waste leather into high-performing materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.

This innovation, which utilizes high-pressure water to entangle leather fibers around the core, offers the luxury and performance of traditional leather with a reduced environmental impact. Initially embraced by the airline industry, these materials contribute to resource conservation, carbon emission reduction, waste reduction, and circularity.

The global pandemic impact on Gen Phoenix

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Gen Phoenix kept its factory operational, catering to the travel and transportation sectors with recycled leather materials. They introduced a new aviation range called ‘Essence,’ featuring an antimicrobial finish for enhanced hygiene amid COVID-19.

Additionally, they initiated research for closed-loop circular solutions for aviation seat covers, which are set to debut at AIX 2024. While airline orders were delayed, Gen Phoenix found stability in the rail and bus markets. Expanding into footwear, luxury goods, and automotive seating, they opened a new factory in Peterborough, attracting investment from Tapestry, Dr. Martens, and InMotion.

Despite a faster-than-expected recovery post-pandemic, Gen Phoenix’s diversified market approach positions them firmly for the future.

Aeromexico's Boeing 787-9 AM Plus and Economy Seats.
Photo: Lukas Souza | Simple Flying

Airline feedback

Gen Phoenix aids airlines in achieving carbon targets by providing recycled leather seats that are 48% lighter than standard aviation leather, potentially saving up to $10,000 per aircraft in fuel costs.

These durable seats last up to 10 years without wear, reducing the need for replacements and further cutting the carbon footprint. Our materials enable airlines to meet sustainability regulations and passenger demands at scale, addressing the industry’s urgent need for sustainable solutions.

Gen Phoenix’s recycled leather, known as ELeather, has significantly impacted aviation sustainability, quality, and customer satisfaction. Partners like airBaltic have noted its role in reducing carbon footprints and providing sustainable passenger solutions. Aeromexico praises ELeather for enhancing in-flight experiences while achieving sustainability goals by decreasing aircraft weight and emissions.

Gen Phoenix Chief Innovation Officer & General Manager Seating Nico den Ouden told Simple Flying:

“airBaltic noted that Gen Phoenix’s ELeather materials (the name for our aviation-grade recycled leather) have lowered the carbon footprint of its Airbus A220-300 aircraft and now provides its passengers with the most sustainable high-performance solution out there.”


airBaltic Receives 47th Airbus A220 And Celebrates Increase In Passenger Traffic

A strong start to the year for the Latvian flag carrier.

easyJet acknowledges ELeather’s durability, with covers lasting without replacement for over a year. Gen Phoenix is now working with partners to launch fully circular, lightweight, and low-carbon aircraft seats at AIX 2024, aiming to address waste issues and further reduce carbon footprints in the industry.

The entire cabin of an airBaltic Airbus A220.
Photo: airBaltic

Innovative solutions to enhance sustainability in aviation

Gen Phoenix is dedicated to strengthening circular practices with partners. Exciting developments are on the horizon, pushing eco-friendly air travel boundaries. For over a decade, Gen Phoenix has offered seat cover materials with the lowest carbon footprint.

den Ouden shared:

“Gen Phoenix’s recycled material is up to five times more durable due to its innovative manufacturing process, so the upholstery is resistant to wear and tear and requires little on-board maintenance. The interior cabin looks as luxurious as it did on day one.”

Now, the company is collaborating with industry partners Sabeti-Wain and Doy Design to launch fully circular, lightweight, and low-carbon aircraft seats at AIX 2024. This initiative resolves airline waste issues and reduces seat cover carbon footprints.

Recognizing the importance of passenger experience to airlines, the company educates them on the unique benefits of our innovative material, such as breathable fibers, which enhance comfort.

den Ouden added:

“Our R&D efforts aim to create luxurious finishes for consumer brands like Coach, Dr. Martens, and Jaguar Land Rover, facilitating expansion into premium cabins and airlines. Combining premium finishes with new bio-based coatings enhances environmental benefits, positioning Gen Phoenix for further growth in the aviation industry.”

Gen Phoenix aims to enhance its product portfolio for diverse markets and advance closed-loop circular solutions. At AIX 2024 (Aircraft Interiors Expo), the company will unveil the aviation industry’s first fully closed-loop circular seat cover design, marking a significant step towards a more circular future in aircraft interiors.