- Following first major redesign in decades to uniforms worn by 125,000 drivers worldwide, thousands of old uniforms are being upcycled into leashes for homeless dogs
- Using a donation from UPS, program benefits work of Decatur-based Initiative for Affordable Housing
- Leashes being provided to Best Friends Animal Society’s Lifesaving Center in Atlanta
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, GA 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.”
More information on adopting a pet from Best Friends’ Lifesaving Center in Atlanta is available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year UPS “Browns,” one of the world’s most iconic and recognizable corporate uniforms, got a makeover – 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.
UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. UPS is committed to operating more sustainably – for customers, the environment and the communities we serve around the world. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. UPS was awarded America’s Best Customer Service company for Shipping and Delivery services by Newsweek magazine; Forbes Most Valuable Brand in Transportation; and top rankings on the JUST 100 list for social responsibility, the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, and the Harris Poll Reputation Quotient, among other prestigious rankings and awards. The company can be found on the web at ups.com or pressroom.ups.com and its corporate blog can be found at ups.com/longitudes. The company’s sustainability eNewsletter, UPS Horizons, can be found at ups.com/sustainabilitynewsletter. Learn more about our sustainability efforts at ups.com/sustainability. To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_News on Twitter. To ship with UPS, visit ups.com/ship.
re:loom is a program of Initiative for Affordable Housing (IAH), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in Decatur, Georgia. Founded in 1990 with one home and one homeless family, IAH’s mission is to provide permanent, affordable housing to homeless and low-income families in metro Atlanta. Our rigorous, holistic social services program empowers individuals to reach personal goals and achieve independence. For more information on re:loom and its parent non-profit, Initiative for Affordable Housing, and how the organization is restoring hope for families, visit www.reloom.org and www.affordablehousingatl.org.
About Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is a leading national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. In addition to running lifesaving programs in partnership with more than 3,100 animal welfare groups across the country, Best Friends has lifesaving centers in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Salt Lake City, and operates the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters nationwide from an estimated 17 million per year to around 625,000. That means there are still about 1,700 dogs and cats killed every day in shelters, just because they don’t have safe places to call home. We are determined to bring the country to no-kill by the year 2025. Working collaboratively with shelters, rescue groups, other organizations and you, we will end the killing and Save Them All. To check out our community lifesaving dashboard and for more information, visit bestfriends.org.