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Emirates Donates Thousands of Upcycled Children’s Backpacks for World Environment Day

In honour of World Environment Day, Emirates is set to donate thousands of children’s backpacks made from upcycled aircraft interiors. As part of its commitment to responsible consumption, the airline is repurposing over 50,000 kilograms of materials from 191 aircraft undergoing cabin interior renovations.

The initiative, named ‘Aircrafted KIDS by Emirates,’ focuses on upcycling 5,205 kilograms of scrap materials from 22 Airbus A380 aircraft. These materials, including 95% wool and 5% nylon seat fabrics, were chosen for their durability and non-flammable properties. The repurposed fabrics will be turned into high-quality backpacks for children in need across Africa and Asia.

In the Emirates Engineering workshop, a team of tailors designed a range of backpacks for children of different ages. These tailors, typically responsible for maintaining the interiors of Emirates’ fleet, have redirected their skills towards this charitable project. 

The backpacks are thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and assembled with new linings, zippers, and adjustable straps to ensure they are safe and comfortable for children to use.

Ahmed Safa, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President for Engineering, praised the team’s dedication: “We are so proud of our people at Emirates and their commitment to this initiative. Countless hours have been invested into making these bags for children; it’s a true passion project for our diligent team. We’ve even had volunteers within the larger company come forward to help. This project is a testament to Emirates’ commitment to constantly evolving our environmental efforts and examining all aspects of our products and supply chains. Our aim is to turn what would have been waste into prized possessions.”

Emirates’ retrofit project, launched in August 2022, is the largest of its kind and represents a multibillion-dollar investment to enhance customer experience across 110 Airbus A380s and 81 Boeing 777 aircraft. The project has the potential to yield up to 50,000 kilograms of waste fabrics suitable for upcycling. 

Materials from First and Business Class cabins have already been repurposed into a limited-edition luggage collection, ‘Aircrafted by Emirates,’ which sold out shortly after its launch in November 2023. Proceeds from this collection, totalling over 70,000 AED, were donated to the Emirates Airline Foundation.

Emirates’ environmental strategy includes ongoing upcycling initiatives, with thousands of new Economy, Premium Economy, First Class, and Business Class seats being installed and refurbished, providing further opportunities for creative repurposing of materials.

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