Through an innovative, industry-first upcycling program, Westin’s Project Rise: ThreadForward initiative is helping children get the sleep they deserve. By repurposing hotel linens into quality pajamas, the program provides less fortunate children with soft, cozy sleepwear.
Project Rise: ThreadForward began as a challenge asking Westin associates to think of ways to empower surrounding communities and better their well-being. “The Project Rise platform was created to give a voice to our associates. It was a place where they could elevate programs that were already in place, or develop and execute an idea that they otherwise wouldn’t have the resources to deliver,” Brian Povinelli, SVP, global brand leader for Westin, Le Meridien,
Renaissance, Autograph, Tribute, and Design Hotels for Marriott International, says.
Of more than 325 proposals, a housekeeping supervisor in Canada submitted the winning idea of creating children’s pajamas from discarded linens. Povinelli says that the more the Westin team considered the idea, the more sense it made. “Hotels have many ways to repurpose linen on a one-off basis, but the amount of volume that we create as the linen works through its useful life is pretty significant, and a lot of it ends up in landfills,” he says.
In partnership with Clean the World, a company known in the hotel industry for its soap-recycling program, 50 hotels donated 30,000 pounds of bed linens to be recycled into pajamas. The design features an illustration of a child rising over the moon with a book. “About 83 percent of the material we process is repurposed for ThreadForward,” Povinelli notes. “Fifty percent of that goes into the pajamas themselves, and the remaining 23 percent is used to make the bag the pajamas come in. And, overall, 97 percent of what would go into landfills is being repurposed into new products.”
Westin is also looking to expand the program in the near future, making the pajamas available for purchase on the Westin website. Once this happens, 50 percent of the proceeds will be invested in making more pajamas.
As society becomes more focused on wellbeing and integrating healthier lifestyles into their routines, Povinelli expects to see more programs like ThreadForward emerge in the hospitality industry. “People consider giving back to the community as a net positive for their overall well-being,” he says. Povinelli adds, “ThreadForward is becoming a significant initiative for Westin. An initiative that we believe—we hope—can change the industry. It’s a spark for Westin associates, and our goal is to ignite a movement the entire industry will look towards.”