Different from recycling, upcycling seeks to turn used materials into something more valuable, and often beautiful. Upcycling gives an item a better purpose. It goes without saying that upcycling makes a positive impact on the environment. By upcycling, you can remove items from the global waste stream and reuse materials without expending energy to break them down.
At Southwest, we seek to operate with a green filter, which includes recycling. But, today, we are launching an upcycling initiative called LUV Seat: Repurpose with Purpose, which takes the used seat leather from our Evolve aircraft cabin redesign and reuses it in creative and beneficial ways, including making shoes, soccer balls, and other leather goods. To learn more, check out the LUV Seat project.
Even if you don’t have to have a spare 43 acres of leather lying around, there are plenty of ways to upcycle just about anything!
Oakland Provisioning Agent Jeff Lunzaga is a prime example of an upcycler! He reuses materials to create large-scale art exhibits that are displayed in community parades, events, and even as props in independent movies.
He created his Batwing using PVC pipes and recycled cardboard from Southwest snack packs and materials. Way to go, Jeff!
What would you do with used leather? Do you have an idea or know of a charitable organization that could upcycle our used leather? Let us know by using the hashtag #LUVSeat on Facebook or Twitter.
How do you upcycle old materials? Let us know by commenting below.