When most of us think about airplane seats, we think about things like vacations, business trips, and traveling for an interview or to visit family. The list goes on and on. Most of us don’t think of things like keychains, handbags, ponchos, or economic opportunities for indigenous artisans in Mexico. But that’s exactly what Carla Fernández thought of. We’re excited to announce a line of upcycled fashion accessories as a result of a multi-year collaboration with Mexican fashion label Carla Fernández that will upcycle hundreds of pounds of leather from airplane seat covers into goods in the coming months.
The line of products from LUV Seat: Mexico, which are created from used leather seat covers and handcrafted by indigenous artisans in seven Mexican communities, range from shoes and bags to ponchos and keychains.
LUV Seat: Mexico is an expansion of Southwest’s Repurpose with Purpose global sustainability initiative, which began in 2013 following the Evolve retrofit program that replaced the aircraft leather seat covers. By providing leather to Carla Fernández, Southwest® reduces the amount of waste the airline sends to landfills while also generating social and economic opportunities for communities.
We are proud to partner with Carla Fernandez on LUV Seat: Mexico as a part of our Repurpose with Purpose program. Through this impactful program, indigenous artisans have been able to incorporate their trades into the designs to create some incredible pieces while learning essential economic development skills through entrepreneurial training programs.
Carla Fernández worked with artisans in seven different communities throughout Mexico who specialize in creating textile and embroidery designs and handcrafts that preserve the country’s rich cultural heritage. The Carla Fernández brand’s work, which combines centuries-old techniques and long-standing traditions in the creation of their designs, has achieved international recognition and acclaim.
Carla Fernández works closely with compensated artisans as they learn how to develop new products and skills.
“Working with the Southwest Team on this project, which seeks to create social and economic impact, has been a great experience for us,” said Carla Fernández, who founded her eponymous label in 2000. “We feel we have found friends and partners after a couple of years of constant communication and hard work in delivering these great products.”