According to Ford the hides were left over after fabrication of interior prototypes over the years, from the Escape and Explorer to the F-150 King Ranch and Lincoln Navigator Black Label. The automaker's philanthropic arm, Ford Fund, donated the leather to Pingree Detroit and Mend on the Move.
Pingree Detroit, founded in 2015, is a worker-owned company that employs veterans and Detroit residents to make boots, wallets and drink coasters from reclaimed automotive leather. Mend on the Move employs female abuse survivors to promote independence and healing.
"This is a unique situation where we are able to donate bundles of real, automotive-grade premium leather to small businesses in Detroit," Jim Conner, Ford's 3D process director, said in a statement. "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."