Flying in style just got a bit more sustainable thanks to former punk rock fashion icon and ethical fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. The British designer created updated uniforms for Richard Branson’s airline crew – with a focus on original design and sustainability.
The new uniforms, in Virgin’s signature deep red, debuted July 12that select airports, in Clubhouses and on-board the aircraft, and will extend to the entire 7,500 staff in September, according to a Virgin Atlantic press release.
While the new designs don’t include any punk elements, as some perhaps expected [or hoped] due to her role in that movement in the 1970’s, they do include “a futuristic look which references her enduring interest in 40s French couture cutting techniques as well as the Savile Row tailoring heritage,” according to Virgin.
The women’s suit exemplifies the feminine shape, with a frill blouse, low-cut jacket, nipped waist and curved hip line. Men will sport a British three-piece suit in classic gray and burgundy. Cinched waists, high collar and bold reds epitomize the line.
However, along with an emphasis on style, there is the focus on sustainability that Westwood has come to be known for.
The following is an excerpt from the Virgin press release:
“Many items of the new uniform will be produced using recycled materials – in particular working with recycled polyester yarn made from used plastic bottles. The suiting fabrics will also have a nano finish applied which extends the life of garments and enables clothing to retain its colour and finish for longer.
We’re also developing all items with Closed Loop Recycling in mind. This new technology takes worn polyester clothing and turns it back into fibres that can be woven again into new fabrics and in turn new clothing.
Vivienne Westwood has also introduced recycled bags for the ground staff which will be produced for Virgin through the Ethical Africa Programme, in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC). The bags will be created using recycled canvas, reused roadside banners, unused leather off-cuts, and recycled brass, produced in the Kibera slum, Nairobi, where discarded metal like padlocks and car pieces are collected then melted down.”
Style and sustainability? Now that’s flying high fashion.
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