August 15 2023  |  Partnerships, Collaborations & Acquisitions

Soisa partnership gives recycled aircraft material new life

By Stephanie Philp

The “Waste to Wonder” project helps the environment by creating a more circular economy

Soisa Aircraft Interiors, in partnership with Avolon, is announcing a project that focuses on creating craft products using from scrap material from old aircraft. Materials that would otherwise be considered waste (including, the release mentioned, over 800kg of leather) are being crafted into artisan items such as wallets, bags, aprons and tablecloths by members of the Tarahumara tribe in Chihuahua, Mexico.

“The Waste to Wonder project provides an excellent example of how, through creativity and collaboration, better use can be made of materials in the aviation supply chain that were previously regarded as scrap. The ability of the Tarahumara tribe members in Chihuahua to produce beautiful artisan products out of old leather from seat covers has been inspiring to see. Avolon is committed to finding more opportunities to decommission end-of-life aviation materials in a sustainable manner,” Enda Swan, Head of Technical, Avolon, said in the release.

Rather than place seat covers and curtains from decommissioned or refitted aircraft into a landfill, the “Waste to Wonder” project helps the environment by creating a more circular economy — one of Avolon’s sustainability strategies.

The project also “provide[d] an income stream for the families of 55 Tarahumara tribe members who have participated in the project” and “is supported by FODARCH (Fomento y Desarrollo Artesanal de Chihuahua), a government body that promotes indigenous cultural traditions.”

FODARCH “provided training and facilitate[d] the sale of the finished products in a shop popular with visitors to Chihuahua,” the release said.

“Working more sustainably is a key objective at Soisa and this project has provided a perfect opportunity to convert something previously regarded as waste into a craft product that can be sold to improve the livelihoods of local communities,” said Jacobo Mesta, Chief Executive, Soisa Aircraft Interiors.

Click here to view a video of the Waste to Wonder project.

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