When KLM Royal Dutch Airlines decided to launch a new uniform in 2010, a 90,000-kg pile of old uniforms arose. We launched an upcycling pilot project involving the conversion of old fabric into a new raw material for new products. Up to today, our discarded uniforms are treated similarly, and the fabric is used for the production of multiple products including the production of our cabin interior carpets by Tarkett (formerly Desso). In aviation, carpets must be replaced every 12-20 weeks due to wear. At the end-of-life they are collected in the hangars and reprocessed by Tarkett in accordance with the cradle-to-cradle principles.
- Since the start, 173,000 kilograms of uniform have been collected and reprocessed into fibers that are used for multiple products including KLM carpets.
- The use of recycled cotton compared to virgin cotton saves 414 liter per m2, totaling a saving of over 1 billion liters of water up to today.
- More than 80% of the carpet that is made with KLM uniforms is being recycled each year.
- Since the start in 2012, over 230,000 kilograms of carpet have been collected via Tarkett’s TakeBack Programme™. This is recycled into the cement and concrete industry.
- Due to intensive use, the carpets wear quickly and must be replaced often. We are always looking for longer lasting and lighter alternatives that are compliant with high safety standards.
Tarkett, Frankenhuis, Texperium and I-Did
Esmée van Veen - Sustainability Manager at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines