This year saw Delta roll out new threads for their employees. With any new roll out, comes the important question of what to do with the old uniforms. All 150 tonnes of it. Luckily, Delta has a very progressive approach to its operation, and has innovation running through the entire business.
Instead of creating waste in landfills across the country, retired uniforms were donated to people in need, recycled or transformed into new, upcycled products through Delta’s partnership with Looptworks.
It’s not the first upcycling project to grace the airline industry (Emirates has already run a coupe of initiatives, and even Hawaiian produced a range of clothes from their aircraft interior fabrics), but it certainly could be one of the largest. Delta’s new collection of upcycled goods, now available for purchase at www.looptworks.com/delta, includes backpacks, travel kits, passport covers, other bags and accessories. The unique collection gives customers and employees the opportunity to own a piece of Delta history. Iconic retired uniform pieces like the red dress, navy suit and black trench coat live on as unique travel accessories.
In an innovative twist, leather from retired aircraft seats has also been upcycled and woven into select products. Delta fans, employees and frequent fliers can rest assured knowing that their purchases are sustainable and benefit a number of worthy causes. Proceeds from each item sold will be put toward the Youth Environmental Education and Action Fund through the Captain Planet Foundation.
The purchase of items from the collection also supports Relay Resources in Portland, Oregon and the Bobby Dodd Institute in Atlanta — both of which provide employment opportunities for refugees, workers with disabilities and people in other challenging scenarios. With the help of these organizations, uniforms and other materials were collected, sorted, deconstructed and warehoused in preparation for the project.