- The ship and cruise industry is picking up speed again – and setting a course for sustainable concepts and materials
- Smart, comfortable, robust and easy on the environment: ship interiors have to deliver more than ever
- Continental uses sustainable skai surfaces to deliver a wide range of solutions for interior fittings on board ships
Hanover/London, 30 November 2022. Sustainability is also a hot topic for the ship and cruise industry. The increasing levels of awareness among passengers when it comes to sustainability has prompted the industry to redouble its efforts in the implementation of environment-friendly concepts across the board. The fixtures and fittings of ship interiors are a case in point, and here Continental can make a difference as a surfaces specialist. The technology company not only supplies innovative and efficient interior concepts, its materials provide above all sustainable solutions for ship interior design around the world. “Sustainability plays a key role in the conception of new interior concepts,” says Norbert Müller, Senior Sales Manager for cruise ships at the Continental surfaces specialists. “Our innovative products are ideal for passenger ship interiors: we are increasingly substituting fossil materials with natural and sustainable alternatives and minimising CO2 emissions throughout the value chain in the process. Green energy also plays a role here. However, our surfaces are also extremely robust and set new trends in terms of design and colours too.”
Cruise ships embody wanderlust and the ideal of the dream holiday; they radiate luxury, exotic appeal and adventure. Business is good – the pandemic-induced trough of 2020/2021 aside. According to statistics portal statista, cruise ships around the world carried 30 million passengers in 2019 – an all-time record. And these hordes of travellers want to bathe in a feel-good ambience while on board. That means comfort and style have to be spot on, but the experience also needs to be more environment friendly in all respects than ever before. The skai upholstery surfaces from Continental tick all these boxes and are in constant use in many areas of passenger ships – from bedheads to sofas, from armchairs, seats and benches in restaurants and bars to loungers, and from outdoor and wellness areas to the crew’s quarters. Even the furniture around swimming pools is trimmed in skai.
Continental is fuelling the growth of sustainability in the cruise industry with its upholstery material skai VyP Coffee. Here, the engineers at the company’s surfaces team have developed a method for utilising the leftovers from coffee as a sustainable raw material. The grounds produced during the preparation of coffee are processed and incorporated into the new material. This recycling approach has the benefit of significantly reducing waste and avoiding the emission of greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. Other recycled and natural components are also added to the mix in the production process. As a result, over 65 percent of the conventional chemical raw materials that would otherwise be used are replaced by natural and recycled substances in production of skai VyP Coffee. And this breathable fabric has a wide variety of uses; it ensures generous seating comfort in places on cruise ships where people tend to linger for longer periods, such as in cafés, restaurants, bars and cabins. Based on tried-and-tested laif technology, skai VyP Coffee stands out with its authentic look and soft feel.
skai Evida is a sustainable upholstery material with a highly abrasion-resistant and flame-retardant surface (it meets standards incl. IMO FTPC P8), making it ideal for a wide range of upholstery applications in the demanding hospitality sector. Over 80 percent of the elements used in this bio-synthetics product are made of natural and renewable raw materials. With its organic cotton backing, skai Evida is certified according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100. Its surface has also been designed to be extremely robust, resistant to disinfectants and flame retardant, without compromising on comfort in any way. skai Evida can be used in all sorts of different areas of passenger ships – with 24 on-trend shades available.
Continental uses alternative, phthalate-free plasticisers to make skai Toronto EN and avoids the use of solvents in its low-emission finish. The energy-efficient production process also reduces waste. skai Toronto EN is a robust material that uses staynu technology to resist dirt and stains; even permanent marker can be removed from the surface without leaving any residue. This material can be used wherever a refined ambience and easy cleaning are required, i.e. in public spaces and hospitality areas alike. Not even disinfectants can damage this surface material, an attribute which should not be underestimated – especially in indoor areas. After all, with rising hygiene standards in mind (the coronavirus pandemic reminded us just how important this is), increased attention is being paid to disinfecting and cleaning. With its fine leather grain making it suitable for applications across a wide range of surfaces and its pleasantly soft feel, this upholstery material is ideal for use on cruise ships.
Continental will use these products and other concepts to spread sustainability across a variety of ship interior design elements. They will be on show at the Cruise Ship Interiors Expo – the leading European trade fair in the industry – on 30 November and 1 December 2022 in London. And at the preceding Sustainable Design Summit on 29 November, the Continental experts will present skai VyP Coffee as part of the Product Showcase for sustainable products.