On Horizon Air, leather under your bum destined for chic afterlife

A Portland-based brand is releasing a travel accessory collection using repurposed seat leather from Horizon Air flights. That’s right — your new bag may have touched thousands of cheeks… and not the sweet, baby kind.

The brand estimates it’s saved 4,000 leather seat covers from a gaudy grave at a¬†landfill, instead opting to upcycle the material into a chic travel accessory collection.

Photo by Portland-based Looptworks.
Photo by Portland-based Looptworks.

Looptworks founder Scott Hamlin says the cost of cleaning and deconstructing each seat is far outweighed by the cost to the environment from creating new materials. He calls the textile industry the second dirtiest in the world behind oil.

“It’s still easier to create products from new materials as opposed to repurposing existing materials,” Hamlin says. “We need innovation to change.”

Looptworks has partnered with a nonprofit in Oregon that employs and trains adults with disabilities to deconstruct and clean the leather. Once cleaned and prepped, the leather is turned over to skilled craftsmen in Washington and Oregon. Their job is to turn it into a product designed for the airways — a laptop sleeve, messenger bag or wallet.