Two airlines servicing Alicante-Elche Airport have adopted intriguingly contrasting styles in upgrading their crews’ uniforms. EasyJet has announced the introduction of new uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles, while SkyUp is replacing high heels with ergonomic sneakers for female cabin crew.
According to EasyJet, new uniforms for cabin crew and pilots will each be made from around 45 recycled bottles, as part of its commitment “to mitigate waste and search for innovative change beyond carbon reduction”. The roll-out across the airline is estimated to prevent half a million plastic bottles from ending up as waste each year.
Manufactured by Northern-Ireland based Tailored Image, the uniforms are created with high-tech material that is made using renewable energy sources and reportedly has a 75 per cent lower carbon footprint than traditional polyester.
“The new fabric, adapted to the airline’s current style, was first trialled last year for suitability in the cabin and flight deck environments. Compared to the non-recycled alternative, it is more abrasion-resistant. It also provides even more elasticity, a four-way stretch, improving fit and freedom of movement for enhanced comfort and durability. This development can lead to it being long-lasting for the wearer, reducing the need for more uniform items to be produced in the long term.”
EasyJet reports that the company has already taken other steps to reduce the number of single-use plastic items used on its flights, replacing many items with more sustainable alternatives such as a small plant-based bowl as a teabag holder. It also offers a 50-pence discount on hot drinks for customers who bring their reusable cup.
“Climate change is an issue for all of us,” says director of cabin services Tina Milton, “and we are looking at all parts of our operation to see where we can reduce carbon emissions and reduce waste.
“It is a priority for us to continue work on reducing our carbon footprint in the short term, coupled with long-term work to support the development of new technology, including zero-emission planes which aspire to reduce the carbon footprint of aviation radically. We continue to work with innovative technology partners Wright Electric and Airbus. Each of them has set out its ambitious timetables for bringing zero-emission aircraft into commercial service to become a reality.”
New Standards of Style and Comfort from SkyUp
Meanwhile, this autumn SkyUp passengers will be greeted by flight attendants wearing a new “Champions” uniform aimed at embodying the idea of movement.
“Before creating a new concept in collaboration with Frame Fashion Consultancy,” explains marketing department head Marianna Grigorash, “we delved into history and analysed the global evolution of the uniform of flight attendants from the early 1930s. It changed depending on the role that the crew performed in flight.
“Times have changed, women have changed, so in contrast to the conservative classics, heels, red lipstick and a bun, a new, more modern and comfortable image of a ‘champion’ has appeared. Freedom, natural beauty, individuality, no patterns and sneakers in which everyone ‘would like to fly’.”
According to project curator Olga Tsaregradskaya, interviews with flight attendants were a starting point for working on a new image. “A modern girl with an active life position – a champion who works for the team result and shows respect for herself and her health. So we decided to replace the shoes with sneakers. We also invited Ukrainian fashion designers to create the uniforms — the GUDU brand to develop a suit and the Gunia Project brand of exceptional things to find a perfect print for the silk scarf.”
Specifically, the changes include:
- Instead of suits with skirts, trouser suits with soft tailoring aesthetics and trench coats made of Italian eco-leather.
- Nike Air Max 720 sneakers replacing high heels and made as part of the company’s initiative to reduce waste and environmental impact by using recycled materials.
- A sky-blue silk scarf attached to the epaulettes of the jacket and coat, created as a symbolic feature of the airline’s uniform.
- Make-up inspired by the colours of the sky – “a subtle gradient with sunset-like soft orange and blue, as during sunrises”.
- A variety of hairstyles, with different weaves replacing the classic flight attendant bun.
- Complementing the look – a bright orange suitcase by Have A Rest from their limited collection.