When Southwest decided to improve the fuel efficiency of its fleet by replacing heavier materials with lighter ones—including the fabrics used in seats—a design company called Looptworks saw more than a plush landfill. Specializing in high-end repurposed goods, the Portland-based outfit worked with Southwest to acquire as much of the airline’s retired leather as possible. Then it started converting this well-traveled upholstery into luggage for well-heeled travelers.
Called Project Luvseat, the collaboration between Looptworks and Southwest includes bags such as the Weekender Duffle ($225) and the Convertible Tote ($150). The duffle accommodates enough gear in the main storage for a long weekend away from home, and it has a secure internal pocket to keep the small stuff organized. The Convertible Tote has a snap closure, expandable side-zippers, and a simple organization system inside. Both bags have grip-friendly Bombay handles. Each bag needs about 4,000 fewer gallons of water to make than non-up-cycled luggage, according to the company.