MINI has collaborated with Fashion Designer Paul Smith to produce the MINI Strip, a one-off model is designed to shine the spotlight on sustainability in automotive manufacturing.
MINI STRIP: SUSTAINABILITY AT THE FORE
With sustainability at the fore, the superfluous had to be cut off. The MINI Strip was created by taking a MINI Electric and completely stripping it down to its bare essence.
From there, only the parts that were viewed as absolutely necessary by Paul Smith were added back on – all with a view towards sustainability of course.
The fashion icon (The MINI, that is) has thus been transformed into an unabashedly functional item. This is further emphasised by the fact that it has no coloured paint applied.
The unique finish means all the grinding marks on its galvanised steel panels show, bringing out the minimalist ethos of the MINI Strip.
And mirroring those metal panels are the plastic panels of the MINI Strip. 3D-printed from recycled plastic, they also have their raw surfaces exposed. And as an additional touch from the bicycle enthusiast (Paul Smith, that is), they also continue to have their screws visible.
This was done to show how simple dismantling those panels would be. But the touch also demonstrates how the vehicle could be reincorporated into the raw-material cycle at the end of its service life.
The functional and distinctive front and rear apron inserts of the MINI Strip were also manufactured via a 3D printing process, which produced their striking texture.
STRIPPED AND RAW
The use of recycled, environment-friendly materials continues in the cabin of the MINI Strip. Gone are the traditional leather and chrome. Instead, we get seats upholstered in a knitted fabric.
The completely mono-material design for the seat coverings means they are fully recyclable, allowing material circularity to be maintained.
The floor mats in the MINI Strip are also made from recycled rubber. The dashboard topper pad, door shoulders and parcel shelf meanwhile, are made from recycled cork.
The steering wheel, which is also a focal point of the interior, has been reduced to the most essential function.
It gets a rim that has been wrapped in handlebar tape, in true road bike style. Three aluminium spokes connect the rim to the steering wheel’s impact absorber. And a unique mesh covering here makes it possible to see the airbag behind it.
As on the outside of the car, there are visible screws showing how easy it would be to dismantle the steering wheel at a later date and reuse the aluminium.
The door panels in the MINI Strip are made from the same mesh material, adding a further dimension to the interior’s appearance. And to top it all off, the pull handles in the door shoulders have been made from wound climbing rope.
They aid to liven up the interior with their bright orange finish, matching the hue of the seat belts.
Finally, a small, fabric label on the front dash points the MINI Strip’s unique designer.