Discarded hotel linens at Westin Hotels & Resorts’s properties are being upcycled into thousands of pairs of children’s pajamas and distributed to kids in need, under the banner’s new sustainability program, Project Rise: ThreadForward.
Beginning April 16th, the first 1,500 pairs of pajamas (sizes 2 to 8) will be distributed by Delivering Good and its network of community partners in cities around the world. In addition, the pajamas will be available for purchase online at westinstore.com ($25 USD), with a portion of proceeds benefiting the program.
“As people integrate wellness into their lifestyle more holistically on the road and at home, giving back has increasingly become important to their overall sense of well-being,” said Brian Povinelli, senior vice-president and global brand leader, Westin Hotels & Resorts. “Wellness is in the Westin brand’s DNA, and Project Rise: Thread Forward is evidence that we can empower the well-being of our guests and associates as well as make a difference in the communities around us – hopefully inspiring change in the industry.”
“…pajamas are among the most requested items of clothing sought by our charitable partners that support low-income households…” ~ Lisa D. Gurwitch, Delivering Good
The idea for the program came from the Westin’s Project Rise challenge, which asked associates to submit ideas based on the brand’s Six Pillars of Well-Being (Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well) that would contribute to and empower the communities they work in. The suggestion that Westin repurpose bed linens, which often don’t have a centralized recycling process or recipient, was selected from 325 ideas submitted by associates from around the world.
Committed to helping guests get a good night’s sleep since the game-changing debut of the Heavenly Bed® almost 20 years ago, Westin saw an opportunity to not only create an innovative industry-first upcycling program, but also empower sleep in an entirely new way.
“Sleep continues to be the foundation of well-being,” asserted Charles Morin, PhD, president of World Sleep Society. “But despite this, one third of all adults and a majority of children are not getting enough sleep. Research suggests that, particularly for children, creating and preserving bedtime routines lead to more restorative sleep, which in turn improves physical and emotional well-being.” The simple act of putting on pajamas as part of a bedtime routine is one way to improve a child’s quality of sleep and cement long-term sleeping habits.
How they did it
As a result of these insights, Westin tapped Clean the World, a leader in global health, best known for its soap recycling programs, and Divergent Energy, who sources the innovative technologies and solutions, to develop the hospitality industry’s first system to collect, process and reweave the discarded linens into a new fabric for pajamas.
In just five months, 50 Westin hotels around the world submitted approximately 30,000 pounds of bed linens and terry to be sorted, broken down and reweaved into new material, using industry best practices in textile manufacturing. A new and proprietary upcycling process was developed specifically for this program to ensure the new fabric met both U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulations and provided the comfort sought in children’s pajamas.
“Project Rise: Thread Forward is evidence that we can empower the well-being of our guests and associates as well as make a difference in the communities around us…” ~ Brian Povinelli, Westin Hotels & Resorts
“Upcycling sheets into children’s pajamas has never been done before,” said Shawn Seipler, founder and CEO, Clean the World. “As our partnership with Westin has grown over the past eight years through the bath and soap amenity program, we were excited when Westin came to us to help bring this vision to life. Westin’s Project Rise: ThreadForward program is a phenomenal effort to continue to improve children’s health and create a more sustainable future.”
Westin worked with San Francisco-based Venables Bell & Partners to conceive and design the pajamas, which feature the brand’s signature color palette, zest, mint and flax (grey) as well as an illustration of a child rising over a moon with a book.
For distribution, it turned to Delivering Good, a tax-exempt non-profit organization, with a mission to provide new merchandise to people who have been affected by poverty and tragedy. It is the charity of choice for new product donations made by hundreds of companies in the fashion, home and children’s industries.
“Our mission to fight poverty and deliver hope to people in need aligns perfectly with what Westin was aiming to achieve with Project Rise: ThreadForward,” said Lisa D. Gurwitch, CEO and president, Delivering Good. “We know that pajamas are among the most requested items of clothing sought by our charitable partners that support low-income households; and we are delighted to work with Westin, who shares our passion and commitment to lift communities and empower people to be their best selves.”
As the global demand for well-being continues to grow and more people integrate wellness into their lifestyle, a new trend has emerged. Increasingly people consider giving back as an important part of their wellness routine, along with sleeping more, eating well and exercising.
In a recent global study:
- 77 per cent of global respondents say giving back enhances their overall well-being;
- nearly one in two respondents in North America said it is very important to give back;
- 80 per cent of those surveyed globally have intentions to give back while traveling in the next 12 months;
- and while nearly one in four travelers surveyed have volunteered through their hotel, 89 per cent of people globally are more likely to book a hotel that provides give-back opportunities.
Study Methodology: This study is based on a survey conducted by STUDYLOGIC LLC via telephone of approximately 2,520 respondents ages 18 and older with household incomes of $50,000 or above from 4 different regions: North America, Latin America, Europe and AOA (Asia, Oceana and Africa). Interviews were conducted between January 24th and January 31st. The survey averaged 20 minutes in length and contains a margin of error of +/-3%.