Emirates to donate thousands of children’s backpacks made from upcycled aircraft interiors ‘Aircrafted KIDS by Emirates’

‘Aircrafted KIDS by Emirates’ backpacks

To commemorate World Environment Day and as part of an environmental strategy that includes a commitment to consuming responsibly, Emirates is readying to repurpose more than 50,000 kilograms of materials from 191 aircraft undergoing a cabin interior refresh.

Emirates will give new life to the materials and is personally producing thousands of handmade children’s backpacks and schoolbags, to be donated to community schools and organisations supporting early education across Africa and Asia this year.

To minimise waste, Emirates’ Engineering team tasked themselves to find a way to repurpose the fabrics from the Economy Class seats of 22 Airbus A380 aircraft that have completed the retrofit process.

From these aircraft, 5,205 kilograms of scrap materials were recovered, including seat fabric of 95% wool and 5% nylon composition with a flat weave structure, sourced from Germany and Ireland.

The materials were identified as ideal for upcycling due to their durability and non-flammable nature, and a decision was made to make high quality backpacks for children in need.

Emirates’ teams spent weeks researching bag styles, ensuring the bags are safe and comfortable for children to use and fit for purpose.

Across all the individual designs, all fabrics are freshly laundered in a facility, then further deep cleaned by hand, leather-conditioned for the leather accents featured on some bags, and thoroughly disinfected before being sewn into unique pieces.

Brand new lining is added to the bags, along with functional zippers and adjustable straps.

The result is a range of sturdy, quality bags which Emirates will make-to-order for worthy causes across Africa and Asia.

Emirates produces the backpacks by hand in the Emirates Engineering workshop where a team of tailors – officially titled as Engineering Maintenance Assistants, are responsible for assembling and stitching the bags.

Their roles normally involve fixing any tears in the interiors of Emirates’ vast aircraft fleet, but now many of these tailors are also putting their skills towards the production of schoolbags for students across Emirates’ network.

Ahmed Safa, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President for Engineering, said: “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 and offer to help with the project, there is a huge appetite to contribute and support entities in need.

“It’s also a testament to Emirates’ commitment to constantly evolve our environmental efforts and examine all aspects of our products and supply chains.

“For this project, our aim is to turn what would have been waste, into prized possessions”.