Environment 95 Stories

Upcycling. A new life for our old uniforms



17th May, 2012

Some 11,000 ladies at KLM received a new uniform in 2011, designed by none other than the top Dutch designer Mart Visser. However, this has left KLM with 90,000 kilos of material from the old uniforms. Which responsible approach can we adopt to the disposal of these uniforms?

We’ll get there together

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: Frankenhuis & Zn, Alcon Advies, Texperium, Sodexo, Brantjes.com, AgentschapNL, Leger des Heils, D’Andrea & Evers Design, Janine Karels and Modint. The objective: to convert old material into new raw materials for new high-quality products. We call this upcycling.

And the result?

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.

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