Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) has announced the expansion of Repurpose with Purpose, an initiative that upcycles, downcycles, and recycles hundreds of thousands of pounds of discarded material into useful products with the help of partner organizations, the company said.
Southwest Airlines has collaborated with diverse groups throughout the United States and Mexico to repurpose leather aircraft seat covers and cushions, blankets, life jackets, aircraft engines, and billboards.
By providing as many materials as possible to these groups, Southwest reduces the amount of waste it sends to landfills while also generating social and economic opportunities for communities. The Repurpose with Purpose program began in 2013, following the Evolve retrofit program, which replaced Southwest´s leather aircraft seat covers at that time. The newly expanded program, will repurpose nearly 675,000 pounds of seat covers and other discarded materials in 2017. The Repurpose with Purpose program will benefit women in indigenous communities in Mexico, as well as veterans, people with disabilities, senior citizens, victims of trafficking, and marginalized communities in the United States.
In addition to repurposing old leather seat covers, Southwest has a history of giving new life to otherwise waste materials.
Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) is in its 47th year of service.