CALL IT A NIGHT: With its “Project Rise: ThreadForward” program, Westin Hotels & Resorts is upcycling sheets into children’s pajamas — many of which will be given to those in need.
The initiative is an offshoot of Westin’s “Let’s Rise” global campaign, which is built around six pillars of well-being such as Sleeping Well, Eating Well and Being Well. Staffers at 50 of Westin’s 225 hotels were asked for ideas to take wellness into the broader communities. Of the 325 ideas suggested, the standout upcycling one came from a housekeeping supervisor at the Westin Trillium House in Canada, who pointed out the considerable amount of bed linens that her hotel, as well as others, go through during the course of a year without any systematic repurposing. She suggested creating a recycling program to put them to use.
While some thinning or damaged bed linens are torn to be used as rags for housekeeping functions or donated to shelters, a good amount wound up in landfills as waste, according to Westin’s senior vice president and global brand leader Brian Povinelli. The first 50 hotels to participate generated about 30,000 pounds of bed linens and terry cloth which has resulted in about 2,000 pairs of pajamas to date. Clean the World, the group known for collecting and recycling hotel soap products, and Divergent Energy created a new upcycling process to ensure the new fabric met U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations and a more unofficial comfort test. About 83 percent of the material has been repurposed, or will be, for such products as the pajamas, bags for them and socks, Povinelli said.
The majority of the upcycled pajamas will go to children in need through Delivering Good’s partners. Working with the World Sleep Society, Povinelli spoke of the importance of creating bedtime routines — brushing your teeth, putting on pajamas and telling a bedtime story are integral to restorative sleep and improving a child’s well-being. Starting April 16, consumers will be able to buy the $25 PJs at Westin’s site with 50 percent of the proceeds going back to Delivering Good.
He added, “Our goal was not only to do something that we can take across the Westin brand to reenforce our wellness position and giving back. But also our hope is that this sparks a movement in the industry as a whole.”
Westin’s sustainability efforts include a Gear Lending program where guests can pay $5 a day to use New Balance sneakers and activewear. Overnighters can also defer housekeeping services and will be rewarded with food and beverage credits or loyalty points.