Old Delta Airlines uniforms 'upcycled' into travel bags by Portland company

20 Sep 2018

Original Story by Keely Chalmers from KGW, July 2018

photos from Looptworks

A Portland company is taking old Delta Airlines uniforms and "upcycling" them into something new and quite useful.

First it was airplane seats and now its old airline uniforms. If you've flown Delta lately you might have noticed the crews wearing snazzy new uniforms. They replaced old ones that had been worn, in some cases, for nearly two decades.

But instead of throwing the old uniforms into the trash, the employees sent them to Relay Resources in Northeast Portland, where they are now being sorted and will eventually be re-made into travel-related items like backpacks and totes.

Delta partnered with Portland-based company Looptworks on the project. It's the same company that made headlines a few years ago when it upcycled old Southwest Airline seats into fashionable totes and purses.

This time, it's clothes from Delta. But the environmental benefits are the same.

"Any time you purchase something that was upcycled versus a virgin-made item, you conserve water and avoid carbon emissions and it's better for the planet," said Scott Hamlin, Looptworks CEO.

Delta Airlines employees donated more than a million pieces of old clothing to the project, which equates to more than 350,000 pounds of old uniforms.

The finished products will be available for sale this October. They'll range in price from about $35 up to about $160.