Latino Traffic Report has learned that Southwest Airlines will partner with Mexican fashion label Carla Fernández to upcycle hundreds of pounds of leather from airplane seat covers into fashion accessories in the coming month. Part of a multi-year collaboration, the line of products from LUV Seat: Mexico, are created from used leather seat covers and handcrafted by indigenous artisans in seven Mexican communities, range from shoes and bags to ponchos and key chains.
LUV Seat: Mexico is an expansion of Southwest’s Repurpose with Purpose global sustainability initiative, which began in 2013 following the Evolve retrofit program that replaced the aircraft leather seat covers. By providing leather to Carla Fernández, Southwest® reduces the amount of waste the airline sends to landfills while also generating social and economic opportunities for communities.
“Southwest Airlines is proud to partner with Carla Fernández on LUV Seat: Mexico as a part of our Repurpose with Purpose program,” said Bill Tiffany, Southwest Airlines vice president Supply Chain Management. “Through this impactful program, indigenous artisans have been able to incorporate their trades into the designs to create some incredible pieces while learning essential economic development skills through entrepreneurial training programs.”
Fernández worked with artisans in seven different communities throughout Mexico who specialize in creating textile and embroidery designs and handcrafts that preserve the country’s rich cultural heritage. The Carla Fernández brand’s work combines centuries-old techniques and long-standing traditions in the creation of their designs. The artisans are compensated as they learn how to develop new products and skills.
“Working with the Southwest team on this project, which seeks to create social and economic impact, has been a great experience for us,” says Fernández, who founded her eponymous label in 2000. “We feel we have found friends and partners after a couple of years of constant communication and hard work in delivering these great products.”
A change agent and an innovator, bringing new meaning to luxury fashion, the Carla Fernández team travels throughout Mexico visiting communities of artisans that specialize in handmade textiles, utilizing centuries-old indigenous techniques. The Mexico-City based fashion label is inspired by the geometrics and textile richness of Mexico. The brand has gained international acclaim for its approach to preserving the rich cultural heritage of Mexico’s indigenous communities.
“We are confident that LUV Seat: Mexico will be a success and we know it will be a benchmark for other similar endeavors,” she added.