At Southwest, our Heart doesn’t just give back—it gives forward. As an airline, we recognize our business has an impact on the world around us, both good and bad. We want to do our part to protect the world for future generations.
Repurpose with Purpose is a global sustainability initiative that respects our resources while sharing our Heart with others. Through the program, we partner with like-minded organizations to upcycle, downcycle, and recycle thousands of pounds of materials every year, keeping them out of landfills. In 2020, we repurposed nearly 140,000 pounds of used aircraft seat covers through Repurpose with Purpose.
Best of all, the program has a positive social impact while limiting waste. By turning leather seat covers, engine parts, and life vests into new, useful products, the program supports Customers and communities—helping provide employment, skills training, and other social benefits.
In November 2020, we teamed up with one of our Repurpose with Purpose partners, Help Heal Veterans, to distribute therapeutic craft kits to veterans and Customers traveling in November. Help Heal Veterans has provided more than 31 million free therapeutic arts and crafts kits to hospitalized and homebound veterans since the organization was founded. The kits give veterans a creative outlet and offer important therapeutic and rehabilitation benefits. Help Heal Veterans works with clinicians and veterans to make sure that the kits address veterans’ unique needs, and the kits often become part of formal rehabilitation treatment plans.
Through this partnership, Help Heal Veterans utilizes the leather from our aircraft seat covers to create craft kits for veterans, allowing them to make items including footballs, belts, wallets, and wristbands. As of Dec. 31, 2020, more than 106,000 veterans have received therapy art kits made from Southwest materials.
We are honored to partner with Help Heal Veterans and other organizations dedicated to supporting and championing our active and retired military. We believe in living responsibly, respecting our resources, and sharing our Heart with others. With respect, honor, and gratitude, Southwest thanks all veterans for their bravery and service. To learn more about the Help Heal Veterans organization, please visit their website at healvets.org