It’s been a while since we’ve seen some upcycling in the air, since Air France did something similar with their old advertising posters, and Virgin Atlantic who changed their seat covers into a variety of accessories and KLM who turned their old uniforms into carpets for their new World Business Class cabins. Emirates recently turned a 208 square meter poster into over 300 quirky and reusable shopping bags. At TheDesignAir, we thought it was time we started promoting airlines with similar initiatives.
In a project which highlights Emirates’ fashion forward credentials and commitment to sustainable practices, the PVC material of a giant Emirates Cabin Crew poster originally displayed outside Zurich Airport, was repurposed into a limited edition line of “up-cycled” shopping bags with the help of Feinschliff, a socially integrative company in Switzerland which supports long-term unemployed people in returning to the labour market.
It took 10 workers 16 days to repurpose the enormous poster into bags. The handcraft production of a single bag took about 27 minutes, involving 13 different steps, including cutting and washing the poster, sewing on straps and assembling the material.
Each distinctive, yet practical bag, has been imprinted with the airline’s ‘Where will you be tomorrow’ tagline. Lightweight, with an inside pocket and made of durable textile. “I want one!” Us too, but sorry, no such luck. These bags are sure to be this season’s must have fashion accessory for the lucky few who were gifted the bags during an open air cinema screening in Zurich. Fingers crossed the airline decides it is time to sell the bags onboard as part of their Duty Free offering, as we would be snapping them right up – especially the one photographed here!
Emirates actively promotes recycling across its business, whether it is used newspapers left behind in aircraft cabins or obsolete electrical equipment no longer needed in its offices. Between 2010 and 2013, Emirates’ Engineering department alone recovered and recycled over 432 tonnes of materials from Boeing 777 cabin interiors.