Delta Air Lines x Looptworks: The Delta Upcycle Project

One of the largest, single company textile diversion programs in US history to date, thanks to this program 350,000 lbs. of retired textiles have been diverted from landfills (where they would decompose and release harmful methane gas into the atmosphere). Scroll down to learn how the Delta Upcycle Project came to be.

The Story of the Delta Upcycle Project

 

Earlier this year, Delta undertook a company-wide uniform refresh, a decision that came with a dilemma. What do you do with the retired uniforms? In fact, what do you do with thousands of pounds of them? 

The Delta Upcycle Project has focused on diverting these materials into one of three streams:

  • Upcycling — converting an item or material into something of equal or greater value 
  • Downcycling — transforming a material into one final product of lesser value prior to disposal
  • Donations — giving items to those in need

sorting Delta uniforms at Relay Resources in Portland, Oregon

Working with our partners Relay Resources (Portland, OR) and Bobby Dodd (Atlanta, GA), the uniforms are sorted, cleaned and processed. Non-branded apparel pieces were donated, with the remainder deconstructed. Viable materials are transformed into new products by Looptworks to live a second life, with the left-overs downcycled into materials utilized in insulation and pet bed stuffing.