In The Loopt



Horizon Air, the regional carrier for Alaska Airlines, periodically replaces the seat covers on their planes as a part of their regular maintenance procedures. When that time came most recently, they approached the Portland, OR, based company, Looptworks, to come up with a cool way to upcycle the leather on the seats into something completely new. Looptworks is brand that works with a variety of high profile and socially responsible companies to transform what would end up in a landfill into beautiful new products. Thus was created the Looptworks Alaska Airlines Carry-On Collection, which includes a wallet, laptop sleeve, tote, crossbody and messenger bag — all made with repurposed seat leather from Horizon Air.

Looptworks designs and manufactures bags made only with excess and waste materials – and they do it in a tangible way that makes sustainability a more graspable concept. They “upcycle”, a subset of recycling, which means they repurpose waste material into something that has equal or greater value. The extra neoprene from wetsuit manufacturers; high-end merino wool from architectural textile firm FilzFelt; leather from Langlitz Leathers, the legendary mecca for motorcycle jackets in Portland, are all reborn as bags that are as great looking as they environmentally friendly.


Top L-R: FELT AND LEATHER MESSENGER BAG $300. Partnership with FilzFelt, makers of German-milled, 100% Merino wool felt. Accentuated with premium excess leather from the footwear industry. LOOPT CLASSICS DUFFLE $350. Made with excess jacket leather from Langlitz Leathers. LUV SEAT BACKPACK $250. Made from authentic Southwest Airlines seat leather. Bottom L-R: ALASKA AIRLINES CARRY ON MESSENGER BAG $230. Hand-made, hand-numbered, and backed by lifetime warranty. HOPTU LAPTOP SLEEVE $30. Manufactured from excess wetsuit neoprene. NORTHWEST MESSENGER BAG $180. Made from premium, distressed leather from the bag industry and 1680 polyester from the outdoor gear industry.

Looptworks uses materials that are not just post-consumer, like the airline seats, but also virgin materials that have never been used— excess and scraps too small for the product originally intended, but perfect for something else. And part of their mission is finding those companies to partner with who are also looking to relieve the impact of the manufacturing process on the environment. Says Nick Mastors, Marketing Director of Looptworks, “There are a bunch of companies already out there creating a bunch of waste. If we can we find ways of repurposing that waste and turning it into something useful, then it directly offsets the need to make the same product with new materials.”

With our planet facing such extreme environmental challenges, the word sustainability gets thrown around, and sometimes it’s too overwhelming to comprehend. With the mandate to use only what already exists, Looptworks is taking that on one bag at a time. Says Mastors, “The name Looptworks refers to a closed-loop manufacturing system, where everything that is created, at the end of its useful life gets re-entered into the supply chain such that we don’t have to cut down forests, we don’t have to have landfill, we don’t have to mine for things. And it’s very cool to hold in your hand a product that directly embodies that vision.”

And cool these bags are. It’s one thing to be so environmentally and socially responsible in your manufacturing processes, but another to design a product so stylish and functional that people would buy it regardless. The Looptworks bags are just that, and make great holiday gifts too!