US railway group Amtrak has teamed-up with non-profit sustainability group People for Urban Progress (PUP) to turn old leather seat covers from its trains into luxury accessories.
The material comes from 20 recently refurbished Amtrak Acela Express train sets.
The initial roll-out will see the creation of 2,500 leather bags, including totes, backpacks and dopp kits. Their release will take place in stages over the next 10-12 months.
Indianapolis-based PUP has developed the process for repurposing the seats. This includes separating the leather from the foam seat, cleaning it in a sustainable way, and cutting and sewing the leather to create each product.
"This is an exciting opportunity to showcase the work we do to remake waste and create change through the creation of our products," said Andrea Cowley, executive director at People for Urban Progress. "Collaborations like this allow us to continue to advance the idea of taking careful consideration of how we recycle our cities' resources. We make the used into useful through great design which, in turn, allows us to address civic sustainability."
For her part, Kara Angotti, Amtrak’s senior sustainability manager, said the project’s main aim is to divert as much waste away from landfills as possible. She added that Amtrak has set a recycling target of 20% by 2020 and that this project will bring the company closer to achieving this goal.
Information courtesy of Leatherbiz