Air stewardesses, pilots, waiters and hotel staff - these are just a handful of uniformed professions which offer currently untapped textile waste streams to be re-incorporated back into the fashion loop.
In the UK alone, there were an estimated 39.2 million garments provided to 11.6 million wearers in 2010. Currently only 9.2% of used uniforms are recovered for reuse via traditional collection methods and many garments are sent to landfill or for incineration – a pattern echoed across the world.
To creatively tackle the issue of uniform waste, Cathay Pacific partnered with Redress on a project for the Chinese New Year. We recruited alumni, Angus Tsui to take on the design challenge of creating a limited edition Lai See crafted from up-cycled iconic red Cathay Pacific uniforms worn by air stewardesses. Produced by members of the St. James’ Settlement who have disabilities, the resulting packet is a truly unique reusable gift to welcome the Year of the Dog. All profits will be donated to Feeding Hong Kong,.
The Well Travelled Lai See will not only reduce paper waste - each Lai See can also be re-used year on year or used as a travel wallet, passport holder or even phone pouch beyond Chinese New Year.
Taking our collaboration one step further, for the EcoChic Design Award 2017 (now known as Redress Design Award) grand final week activities, Redress and Cathay Pacific hosted a challenge for the 10 finalists: to design a prototype for a travel accessory product using retired staff uniforms. Revisit our favourite moments from the Redress x Cathay Pacific: Uniform Reconstruction Challenge in this video here.