Norwegian’s latest project with UNICEF Norway helps children, provides work for immigrant women and reduces the company’s environmental impact. By upcycling the company’s uniforms, thousands of items can be saved from landfills – a crucial move in the fight against textile waste.
In 2020, Norwegian will replace its uniform. To combat textile waste the airline has launched a new pilot project Still Travelling with Norwegian. Used uniforms will be upcycled into a series of new, sustainable products that will be sold onboard selected short-haul flights from Oslo.
Unique and handmade products
“Now that we are replacing some of our uniforms, it’s important that we look into a sustainable way to reuse the materials. We have partnered with a social enterprise based in Norway called Sisters in Business, which creates jobs for immigrant women through local textile production,” says Cecilie Nybø Carlsen, Norwegian’s VP Product Manager.
The project will launch with two items that have been made from Norwegian’s long-haul uniforms: a stylish, chequered toiletry bag and a beautiful silk clutch bag; both unique and handmade products. All the profit from the sale of these products will go towards supporting UNICEF’s work for children.
A crucial fight against textile waste
“If the project is a success, we can save thousands of items from being wasted. We all have a responsibility to find solutions that minimise the environmental impact from our textile use,” says Norwegian’s Head of Sustainability, Anders Fagernæs.
“With this project, Norwegian, UNICEF Norway and Sisters in Business are helping to provide a sustainable solution to these problems – and by buying these products onboard, passengers will also be doing something positive for the environment, as well as helping children and contributing to job creation,” Fagernæs continues.
Supporting several UN Sustainable Development Goals
“This is an incredibly exciting project,” says Camilla Viken, Secretary General of UNICEF Norway. “Yes, it will support UNICEF’s work around the world. And it will also support many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals; Fighting poverty, responsible consumption and production, gender equality, collaboration and climate change” she says.
Sisters in Business founder Sandra Tollefsen explains that getting involved with projects like these helps immigrant women, who can “feel invisible” without a job, to play a positive role in society: “It’s a transformation in these women’s lives – to have self-respect for themselves and for their families,” says Tollefsen. “They have friends here, they are not lonely anymore, they feel independent. It’s much, much more than a job for these women.”