Upcycling by KLM: old uniforms get a second chance

Here’s a story to show that upcycling is becoming more and more popular. Finally big companies are getting into upcycling. And one of these companies is KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines.
Once every several years KLM changes the uniforms. The last time they did that was in 2011 when some 11,000 ladies received a new uniform. These new uniforms were designed by none other than top Dutch designer Mart Visser. The problem is that KLM is left with 90,000 kilos of material from the old uniforms. So KLM started looking for a responsible approach they could adopt to the disposal of these uniforms.

Uniforms become high-quality products

And in that effort KLM teamed up with a number of inspired partners to launch a project to achieve the sustainable processing of its old uniforms. The following organisations were involved in the project: VAR|Frankenhuis, Alcon Advies, Texperium, Sodexo, Brantjes, AgentschapNL, Dutch Salvation Army, D’Andrea & Evers Design, Modint and Janine Karelse. She contributed a big part of the design process as part of her graduation at Saxion University of Applied Sciences. The objective: to convert old material into new raw materials for new high-quality products.

Photos © KLM

According to KLM: “A saving of at least 500 million litres of water, 1 million m3 of gas and 4,600 tonnes of CO2 in comparison with the quantities that would be involved in the production of new material. A number of design concepts for travel bags have been produced for the felt semi-finished product that has been developed and we are taking steps to establish whether the retail sector has any interest in launching these themselves. We are now incorporating the fibre obtained from the uniforms into the carpets used in World Business Class, a product supplied by Desso. Added to this, there have been hopeful developments in relation to the use of a felt-based composite on board our aircraft. In short, there is a big chance that you will have the opportunity to experience our upcycled uniforms for yourself.”
Like I said, more and more people and companies are noticing that upcycling can be a serious solution for the problem of polluting our planet. Finally, go upcycle!

Project by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines



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