When thinking of sustainable practices, cabin crew uniforms may not be near the top of an airline’s checklist. But they could and should, as Alexander Preston discovers. 

Sustainability has long been premised as standing on the three legs of the stool: environmental, social and economic sustainability. In March 2020, Finnair presented its climate strategy and put sustainability at the heart of everything the airline does. Like other carriers, this includes investing in new aircraft, committing to greater use of sustainable aviation fuel and cutting back on plastic and waste.

Writing on Finnair’s Blue Wings blog, Anne Larilahti, Finnair VP of Sustainability, cites that “life in the middle of a pandemic and the slow recovery from it has highlighted the need for the balanced sustainability approach.” She adds that the airline will learn from this and “hopefully come out with an increased understanding and willingness to move from black and white one-cause advocacy to cooperation and a joint quest for systemic, sustainable solutions.”

Cabin crew uniforms are often an overlooked part of these sustainable solutions. They can help an airline meet its contribution to Goal 12, Responsible Consumption and Production of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations.


Unveiling its cabin crew uniforms in early February, Jasmine Dhillon, Director of Cabin Services at Green Africa Airways, declared that for the airline, “green is not just a colour. It’s a concept representing growth, vibrancy and sustainability.” From an initial list of 17 invited designers, Green Africa Airways selected Lagos fashion school, Zaris Fashion & Style Academy and Orange Culture to create its crew uniforms. These are a key element of the Nigerian start-up airline’s visual identity and the latest step towards its full brand launch. Natural fibres are used for comfort and breathability. The resulting ‘gCrew’ uniform is both functional and durable, and according to Dhillon, “proudly African, proudly Nigerian”.  Whilst the final product may be sustainable in nature, are airlines considering uniforms as part of their environmental responsibilities and requesting sustainable uniforms for their cabin crew as part of their design brief?


Keyvan Aviation has worked with a number of airlines, some of whom, says Chairman and CEO Mehmet Keyvan, “are very serious about sustainable uniforms, but some of them still prefer traditional uniforms for procurement. We think, as part of their environmental responsibility, they should provide sustainable uniforms to their ground and aircrew. Through this, they will have the happiest crew members, lower costs as well as lower waste.” 

With an increasing number of airlines valuing sustainable options for cabin crew uniforms, what does sustainability mean to suppliers? How are their designers incorporating it into their approach to uniform design? “Sustainability is the most important agenda for the industry players around the world,” says Keyvan, adding that for his company, sustainability means caring for the environment, people, and cost. “When our design team is working to prepare a new design idea, they care about materials, comfortable design and manage the cost.”

For the original news:  inflight-online.com