Emirates has announced plans to launch a range of luggage and accessories made out of repurposed parts of the carrier’s A380 and 777 aircraft.
The limited-edition range includes suitcases, backpacks, handbags, cardholders, toiletry bags, belts and shoes, with all proceeds going to the Emirates Airline Foundation.
Materials used to make the products includes leather from couches in the Emirates A380 onboard lounge, to seatbelts, aluminium headrest and fur from the Captains seat.
The materials have been recovered as part of the retrofit of 120 of Emirates’ A380 and 777 aircraft, described by the carrier as “the largest known fleet retrofit project”.
So far 14,000kg of materials have been recovered from 16 retrofitted aircraft, with the airline saying that there is scope to recover up to 270kg of leather and 627kg of seat fabric per retrofitted aircraft.
All recovered fabrics are laundered, disinfected and leather-conditioned if required, before being used alongside new bag lining and zippers.
Emirates employs 14 ‘tailors’ within its Engineering Maintenance division, whose job it is to fix and stitch tears to aircraft interiors.
Four of these employees are currently dedicated to the upcycling initiative, and the carrier said that “As each piece is handmade to order, customers may be able to request personalised laser engraving on some exclusive, one-of-a-kind bags, suitcases or document holders”.
Emirates said that aviation fans will soon be able to register their interest in the upcycled products, but warned that “these special pieces are in limited quantity”.
In 2021 the carrier announced plans to upcycle and recycle “most” of its first retired A380 superjumbo, including the creation of bespoke furniture out of the aircraft’s onboard bar.
Commenting on the news Ahmed Safa, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president for engineering, said:
“At Emirates, we are committed to constantly evolving our sustainability efforts, and looking at every aspect of our products and supply chain. We knew these materials could be given a second life, because they are originally of very high quality.
“We challenged our team to be as creative and innovative as possible, and here we are, with our own accessories workshop in Emirates Engineering Centre.
“This initiative is a passion project for our team, and we are immensely proud of how it aligns with both our innovation and sustainability aims, and even better – that all proceeds will benefit worthy causes via the Emirates Airline Foundation.”