Singapore Airlines launches ‘Upcycling Project’

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(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched “The Upcycling Project”, through which the airline will provide parts and materials from retired commercial aircraft to various Singapore-based organisations and selected global retail brands. These parts can be upcycled and repurposed to create unique retail products and art pieces, which directly support educational institutions, artists, and persons with disabilities. The first initiative under The Upcycling Project will be a competition organised by SIA and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), that aims to promote awareness about design and upcycling among tertiary and pre-tertiary students in Singapore. Aircraft parts and materials will also be donated to several educational institutions, which they can use as learning materials for art or design courses.

Airlines like Singapore Air have had to ground thousands of planes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and near shutdown of international aviation. (PHOTO: Steve Strike/Outback Photographics)

SIA has also appointed two Singapore-based brand and product consultants, Edwin Low, Founder of Supermama, and Adriana Lim Escaño, Chief Executive Officer of Abry. They will work with SIA to source for local and global retail brands that are keen to repurpose aircraft parts and materials into products such as bags, furniture, fashion apparels and accessories, and service ware. More information on the sale of the finished products will be announced closer to their launch dates.

Local art consultant Jazz Chong, who helms the Ode To Art gallery, will work with SIA to select Singapore-based artists and sculptors who will create unique art pieces using the upcycled materials. To date, four prominent artists and sculptors have been selected. Their completed art pieces will be sold exclusively at Ode To Art.

SIA will also work with SG Enable, an agency dedicated to supporting persons with disabilities, in their i’mable Collective initiative. Aircraft parts and materials will be provided to the i’mable Collective’s makers such as Singapore Fashion Runway and SPD. People with disabilities can fashion them into gifts and products for sale via the makers’ platforms, with the proceeds going directly to the makers.

Yeoh Phee Teik, Senior Vice President Customer Experience, Singapore Airlines, said: “The Upcycling Project is a unique opportunity to repurpose parts and materials from older retired aircraft, and find a new use for them. There was a lot of interest when we first broached the concept, and we are happy to be able to support a wide range of communities through this initiative. Our customers and fans will also have a rare opportunity to own exceptional art pieces, as well as the exclusive items that our retail partners will create.”

Professor Chong Tow Chong, SUTD’s President, said: “SUTD is pleased to partner with SIA on this meaningful upcycling project and competition. Through the upcycling design competition, we hope to inspire the next generation of designers and innovators to create novel products from exclusive materials and spread the idea of upcycling among the community. In addition to the competition, SUTD has devoted an entire term studio led by the Architecture and Sustainable Design faculty to creating new products from upcycled aircraft parts. This is in line with SUTD’s vision to create a better world by design.”

Supermama’s Low said: “As a local designer and retailer, I am really excited to be appointed as a consultant for The Upcycling Project. I believe we have some of the most creative minds and talents in Singapore, and I cannot wait to work with Singapore Airlines and the local brands to see what magic can be made from different aircraft parts and materials.”

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