October 20 2022  |  Amenities & Comfort

Amenities & comfort suppliers are wowing with wellness

By Rachel Debling

This is a special feature from PAX International's 2022 IFSA EXPO Long Beach edition, on page 24.

The designs of apparel brand Someone Somewhere, featured in FORMIA’s recent Delta launch, meld traditional handicrafts with innovation

There’s something exciting in the air. From America to Australia, thousands of aircraft are taking to the skies, filled to the brim with passengers eager for new adventures and experiences. The first step in their journeys? These new kits, comfort items and inflight amenities that welcome them and ensure that their travels are comfortable and luxurious, all while looking out for Mother Earth.

Buzz – American Airlines sleeping suit
Pajama and loungewear company Recliner was tapped by Buzz to create an eco-friendly option for American Airlines which, according to the amenities company, “soars above the rest.”

Each sleepsuit is thoughtfully designed and made from a dozen recycled bottles and combined with breathable cotton, resulting in 70 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than regularly produced by synthetic fibers.

Each American Airlines sleepsuit is thoughtfully designed and made from a dozen recycled bottles along with breathable cotton

Spokespersons for Buzz explain that the innovative design and sustainability practices applied to this inflight offering have helped American Airlines take “a giant step forward in terms of comfort over the previous program.” These breathable, flexible and well-fitting sets lend well to an enjoyable and relaxing flight, no matter how long the trip.

As noted by Buzz, they have “streamlined airflow and optimized movement to wind up with the best sleep suit on earth – or in the air.”

Plane Talking Products – Plastic-free amenity kit
The inflight experts at Plane Talking Products – PTP for short – have been watching the changes in air traveler preferences over the years and have noticed a definite shift towards a range of post-pandemic products that have sustainability at their core as well as the mental and physical wellbeing of the passenger. Airlines, though still concerned with hygiene and cleanliness, have now reverted to the comfort products that put their customers’ welfare at the forefront.

“Airlines are recognizing that, for a lot of people, flying may have become a more stressful and anxious experience,” notes product designer Bryony Koziol. “Therefore, we are being asked to provide relaxing sprays, balms and mists, in addition to reminders of home to offer the passenger something familiar and reassuring – perhaps a local brand or a nod to local design touches.”

The environment is also still top of mind for both airlines and their passengers, which is why PTP launched a 100 percent plastic-free amenity kit earlier this year. In fact, sustainability is one of the company’s top priorities.

“Using a combination of bamboo, organic cotton and other bio-based materials and innovations, we’ve worked to remove every element of plastic, including the ‘hidden’ aspects that frequently get forgotten – like zippers, tags and toothbrush bristles,” says Koziol. “In addition, we’ve been looking at other innovations using more eco-friendly materials such as fabrics made from coconut husk, pineapple leaves and cork. We’re also researching alternatives to plastics made from seaweed and coffee grounds.”

As proof of its commitment, PTP is one of the founding members of the Aviation Sustainability Forum, a move that owner and managing director Alison Wells says demonstrates their commitment to working with industry stakeholders to drive significant and permanent change in how the inflight sector works.

“As a small business, we recognize that in ourselves we have minimal impact on the planet,” explains Wells. “However, the products we supply to all corners of the globe can really make a difference. That is why we are focusing so much time and effort on having sustainable alternatives for our customers, and we encourage them to look at all aspects of the supply chain when taking procurement decisions.”

Plane Talking Products’ plastic-free kit uses bamboo, organic cotton and other bio-based materials and innovations

FORMIA – Delta One amenity kit, JetBlue Economy Class kit and more
Now celebrating its 20th year in operation, FORMIA is marking the occasion with releases for some of the world’s most high-end airlines that meet and surpass the standards they have been adhering to for decades.

As has always been its M.O., intelligent design and added value are center stage in FORMIA’s launches. Their award-winning collaboration with Qatar Airways brought French perfumer Diptyque on board the carrier for the first time, bestowing passengers with wellness-focused skincare products both in cabin and in Qatar’s lounges. The bags also contain 100-percent recycled PET eye masks and socks, a move that brings “conscious luxury” to the skies, according to FORMIA.

Another FORMIA partnership, this time with Delta Air Lines, brings the Mexican brand Someone Somewhere to the airline’s Delta One passengers in a program that proves “even premium products can deliver cultural, economic and social impact.”

The designs of apparel brand Someone Somewhere meld traditional handicrafts with innovation while aiding the predominantly female artisans that they work with to become independent income earners and community leaders. This partnership has already created hundreds of jobs for citizens in five of Mexico’s most vulnerable states. As a bonus, travelers can scan the QR code on the kits’ label to “meet” the artisan who helped shape their inflight amenities.

But that’s not where FORMIA’s socially and environmentally conscious efforts end. Last year, the company delivered on its pledge of fashioning a more sustainable air travel experience with its JetBlue Economy Class kits, contained in pouches made from non-toxic platinum silicon. Functional and reusable, the bags not only house a series of amenities but can be later used to keep food fresh longer, extending the life of the gift and further reducing its impact on the environment.

WESSCO – JetBlue Mint amenity kit, LATAM Business Class kit, and more

WESSCO and LATAM worked together to deliver an environmentally conscious amenity kit to the airline’s Business Class passengers

Petros Sakkis, WESSCO’s Chief Marketing Officer, admits what we all know: the last few years have been tumultuous for air travel.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, our world was turned upside down,” he explains. “Many of us in the industry shifted quickly to hygiene brands and PPE, which became the lifeline for our industry.” TravelShield, a product line that the company invested in early in the pandemic, catered to airline requirements and helped WESSCO’s customers and their passengers travel safely and worry-free. American Airlines, United, Copa and other carriers quickly brought the solution on board.

Amenities are of course still the backbone of WESSCO’s business model, with a strong emphasis on sustainability. A collaboration with wellness curator Wanderfuel in 2019 resulted in a collection of kits for JetBlue’s Mint cabin and numerous awards for the company. And last year, WESSCO and LATAM worked together to deliver an environmentally conscious amenity kit to the airline’s Business Class passengers.

WESSCO recently formed a partnership with Therabody, a company well-known for its percussive therapy devices

On the partnership, Sakkis explained, “We are very proud of the Business Class amenity kits we have launched with LATAM over the last year, which highlight LATAM’s unique Latin American identity in a modern and relevant way, showcasing the work of exceptional artists from many of the countries to which LATAM flies.

“The kits have been created from recycled and natural materials wherever feasible and feature skincare products from Brazilian natural brand Feito Cosmetics, in another nod to the airline’s Latin American roots.”

WESSCO has maintained its longstanding relationship with natural beauty brand L’Occitane for more than 20 years, with launches spanning from Delta Air Lines to the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

“Since then, we have worked with L’Occitane again and again as they became one of the mainstays in our industry,” says Sakkis. Other cosmetic and skincare partnerships include KORRES, a brand “dedicated to harnessing the remarkable biodiversity of the Greek flora,” for programs found on board around the world, including Etihad Airways, Aeroméxico, and Air Europa.

Post-pandemic, a partnership with Therabody, a company well-known for its percussive therapy devices, has Sakkis and the rest of the WESSCO team excited for what’s to come.

“The integrated program we are building with Therabody is exactly the type of program we aspire to create – one that will truly improve the total travel experience, enhancing passengers’ physical and mental states over the course of their journey,” he notes. “We are confident that this will be a gamechanger for travel wellness and will become another industry mainstay over time.”

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