June 7 2024  |  Aviation Trends

WTCE issue: Always in style with SKYPRO

By Jane Hobson

This is a special feature from PAX International's May 2024 WTCE issue, on page 113.

A visual depiction of SKYPRO’s Zero Waste Principle

The SKYPRO Reuse Service was launched earlier this year and is set to reduce uniform costs for airlines by up to 60 percent per garment. PAX International spoke with Ricardo Silva, Sustainability Director, SKYPRO, about how the uniform recycling program is reducing the environmental impact of corporations and why airlines are ready to make this shift. According to Silva, up to 90 percent of uniforms destined for landfill can be reused and recycled through programs like this one.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

The SKYPRO Reuse Service is accessible to any company in all industries with a workforce exceeding 1,000 uniformed employees. The program promotes a circular economy and the Zero Waste principle, a waste prevention framework established by the European Union that focuses on using resources as efficiently as possible from start to finish.

“It is based on a Waste Hierarchy which follows a simple rule,” Silva says, “Reduce waste first, then reuse things if possible and recycle what can’t be reused.”

When implemented successfully, the Zero Waste Principle creates
a circular system where “waste” from one process becomes a valuable resource for another.

“We’re prioritizing finalizing contracts with European and Middle Eastern clients, leveraging our well-established network of offices and suppliers in those regions,” Silva says of the status of the initiative.

The types of detailed repairs carried out as part of the SKYPRO program include reattaching but- tons or hooks, replacing zippers, reinforcing seams and more.

The uniforms undergo a rigorous sanitization process called Wet Cleaning Technology. Silva explains this is a non-hazardous alternative to standard dry cleaning that produces a higher-grade clean.

The impact on airlines

Following the launch of the program in March, Silva says airlines are warming up to the idea of reusing uniforms, motivated largely by the potential cost savings. “Uniforms are expensive, especially for airlines with thousands of crew to outfit. Reusing them extends the life of those uniforms and cuts down on how much they must spend,” he explains.

But it is not just about reducing costs—Silva adds that the shift within the industry means airlines are moving away from a linear model to adopt a circular model.

“It’s about creating a more sustainable and responsible uniform program, which also significantly reduces the environmental footprint on the planet.”

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