Press release: UPS
UPS is working with two local non-profit organizations to upcycle thousands of old uniforms into dog leashes, benefitting programs to provide much-needed homes and jobs for Atlanta-area residents – including some four-legged ones.
When the company announced last September that its iconic brown uniforms were getting the first significant makeover in nearly a century, it created a challenge: what to do with the old ones. Through partnerships with the Initiative for Affordable Housing’s re:loom and Best Friends Animal Society’s Lifesaving Center in Atlanta, UPS is keeping the old uniforms out of landfills and incinerators and upcycling them into fashionable new dog leashes.
Since 2009, re:loom has trained homeless and low-income individuals to make beautiful, hand-woven products from excess textiles. Using a grant from the UPS Foundation, weavers at re:loom’s Scottdale, Georgia, weavehouse are fashioning about 1,200 leashes from old UPS uniforms. The program has kept 118 tons of old uniforms out of landfills and incinerators in the first six months.
UPS is donating the finished leashes to Best Friends Animal Society’s Lifesaving Center in Atlanta, where they’ll be used and go home with dogs adopted at the center.
“These old uniforms were worn by our 125,000 hard-working drivers who deliver nearly 22 million packages and documents a day across the globe,” said Patrick Browne, director of sustainability at UPS. “The last thing we wanted to do was to dump them in a landfill. That’s why we’re so happy to partner with these amazing non-profits to give them a second life and do something special in our community.”
“Generous donations like this one from UPS help us change the lives of Atlanta families by providing housing, training and steady jobs,” said Lisa Wise, executive director of the Initiative for Affordable Housing. “And as a pet lover, I’m thrilled to see these awesome upcycled leashes benefitting not only our families, but also Best Friends Animal Society.”
“I love these leashes,” said Lisa Barrett, senior manager, Southeast Region, Best Friends Animal Society. “We’re so appreciative of UPS’s generous donation and the work of the skilled weavers at re:loom, and we can’t wait to send them out with our dogs to their new homes.”
The UPS “Browns,” one of the world’s most iconic and recognizable corporate uniforms, got a makeover last year. It was the first major redesign since the early 1920s, and the most significant change since the company’s drivers began wearing shorts in the early 1990s.
The new uniforms have a more contemporary look, with updates designed to improve driver comfort, safety and performance. UPS drivers are often referred to as industrial athletes, so many of the changes to the uniform include using performance fabrics with improved stretch for better range of motion.