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KLM flying high with cradle-to-cradle approach

The Netherlands – Comfort and sustainability increasingly go hand in hand at Dutch national carrier KLM, and the cabin interior of KLM’€™s Boeing Dreamliner is proof of this. Together with carpet producer Desso, KLM has developed the aircraft’€™s carpet from offcuts of Norwegian wool combined with snippets of discarded uniforms previously worn by KLM stewardesses.

In total, some 90 000 kg of textiles remaining after the ladies had picked up their new uniforms was processed into a raw material. According to the airline, this represents ‘a great example’ of transforming old textiles into new raw materials for high-quality products. Previously, the uniforms had been used as raw material to create handbags and baggage labels.

Installed in both business and economy class, this Wilton carpet meets ‘the most stringent’ requirements in terms of fire safety, lifespan and comfort. On the ground, meanwhile, KLM is also investing in sustainability. Next to one of KLM’s hangars at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the company operates Scrap Plaza – a place where the airline’s technical staff assess surplus materials to see if they can be of future use.

At Scrap Plaza, huge containers full of wires, plastics and piles of metal aircraft equipment are accumulated from the airline’s various departments for either reuse or recycling.

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