Southwest Airlines goes Shopping for Sustainable Answers

Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines

Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines

This week, Southwest Airlines Co. announced the expansion of Repurpose with Purpose, an initiative that upcycles hundreds of thousands of pounds of old materials including leather seat covers, cushions, blankets, life jackets, engines, and billboards into new products. Southwest collaborates with partner organizations to repurpose the materials and give them a new life as fashion accessories including purses, keychains, jewelry and more. The program’s goal is to reduce landfill waste while generating social and economic opportunities for the communities creating the new goods across both the U.S. and Mexico.

One Southwest Repurpose with Purpose collaborating partner, Mexico City-based fashion designer Carla Fernández, leads the LUV Seat: Mexico project. She works alongside and supports indigenous artisans in seven different communities throughout Mexico. Each community specializes in creating specific textile and embroidery designs and handcrafts, which in turn, helps to preserve the country's cultural heritage. They utilize these talents to completely transform old leather aircraft seat covers into an upcycled line of products which range from shoes and bags to ponchos and key chains. The expansion of the Repurpose with Purpose initiative will provide the leather for new goods to be available for purchase in early 2018.

Watch the LUV Seat: Mexico community transform a regular leather seat into a unique new accessory in the video below, courtesy of Southwest Airlines Co.