Delta Air Lines x Looptworks Upcycling Collaboration
Delta Airline Uniforms
One of the most extensive 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.
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 & Downcycling
1. Upcycling— converting an item or material into something of equal or more excellent value
2. Downcycling— transforming the material into one final product of lesser value before disposal
3. Donations — giving items to those in need. 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 leftovers downcycled into materials utilized in insulation and pet bed stuffing.
Delta Airlines uniforms were sorted by adults with barriers to employment in Atlanta and Portland, with select items given to those in need. Next, the remaining uniforms were cleaned, processed, and deconstructed. The prepared materials were then upcycled into this collection.
We have diverted 350,000 pounds of waste from the landfill by donating, upcycling, and recycling Delta-donated uniforms. Learn more about the process below.