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Brussels Airlines Reveals Chic, Sustainable Uniforms

Brussels Airlines recently unveiled its stylish new uniforms at an exclusive fashion show attended by company employees and press members. Starting from March 1st, these chic uniforms will become a common sight both in-flight and throughout the airport, showcasing the airline’s commitment to a refreshed brand image. Over 2,600 staff members, including cabin crew, pilots, and ground operations personnel, will don these updated ensembles as they represent the airline’s dedication to professionalism and elegance.

The New Brussels Airlines Uniform Design

Brussels Airlines unveils a chic and modern uniform line influenced by the stylish elegance of the 1960s. These newly crafted uniforms blend a sophisticated dark navy blue with subtle champagne-colored accents, embodying the airline’s brand renaissance, which took flight in November 2021.

Inclusive Design

Aiming for inclusivity, designers crafted these uniforms to flatter various body types and ages. They feature universally appealing pieces like the sleek turtleneck and the classic A-line dress. The collection doesn’t just prioritize style but comfort, with the introduction of unisex options and sneakers that effortlessly pair with the more traditional vegan leather shoes for a perfect blend of function and fashion.

Brussels Airlines Staff Involvement

The two-year journey to design these uniforms was deeply collaborative. Brussels Airlines frontline staff were integral to the process, engaging in surveys, workshops, and design sessions. They had a hand in choosing from a variety of designs, ultimately selecting the final look that we see today.

These new uniforms are more than just clothing. They reflect the airline’s commitment to employee involvement and a fresh brand image that caters to the modern traveler’s desire for elegance and comfort in the skies.

“I wanted the design to be elegant and sophisticated, while prioritizing the staff’s performance and comfort. ​ That’s why we introduce items like turtlenecks or sneakers, to make everyone comfortable. Throughout the design, you’ll also find subtle references to Belgian icons, such as the Atomium on the scarfs and on the inner lining of the blazers. I really hope the staff enjoys wearing the uniform as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Gabrielle Szwarcenberg, ontwerpster

Collaboration with The Royal Academy for Fine Arts, Antwerp

Brussels Airlines champions Belgian culture on the global stage through its strategic collaboration with the prestigious Royal Academy for Fine Arts in Antwerp – a fountainhead for some of the most iconic fashion designers in the world. The partnership with esteemed designer Gabrielle Szwarcenberg further emphasizes the airline’s dedication to Belgitude, a concept that encapsulates the essence of Belgium’s heritage and identity.

In line with this commitment, Brussels Airlines has curated an exclusive selection of Belgian brands for its in-flight offerings. The airline selected footwear labels Atelier Content and Ambiorix for their unparalleled craftsmanship and design, ensuring that Belgian excellence soars above the clouds. This thoughtful integration of national pride and high fashion reflects Brussels Airlines’ mission to serve as a flying ambassador for the best that Belgium has to offer.

More Sustainable Uniforms

Brussels Airlines has taken a significant leap forward in its sustainability efforts by introducing new eco-friendly uniforms and accessories. The airline selected each supplier based on their commitment to environmentally conscious practices. The materials selected showcase a commitment to sustainability, from the use of BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) certified cotton to the choice of mulesing-free wool, ensuring the welfare of animals.

The innovation doesn’t stop there. Brussels Airlines also explored alternative materials like cacti and grape leather for their uniforms, highlighting an inventive approach to eco-fashion. Even the packaging was crafted with the environment in mind. These sustainable materials are a testament to Brussels Airlines’ dedication to eco-friendly solutions.

Moreover, the production sites for the new uniforms have undergone rigorous screening processes. This ensures not only sustainable practices but also the employees’ fair treatment and working conditions. Brussels Airlines continues integrating sustainability into its operations, making a commendable stride in its broader sustainability strategy.

About Sustainability

Sustainability in the uniforms means:

  • Quality: high-quality materials ensure the uniforms look good longer, need fewer repairs, and don’t have to be replaced as often.
  • Respect: both for the people wearing the uniform and everyone involved in making the uniforms and for the planet. The fabrication sets high standards throughout the entire lifecycle, from the first cotton fiber to its recycling.
  • Transparency: careful and informed decisions regarding material and supplier selection. It was important to be aware of and understand the entire production chain. This commitment is reflected in the certification of the used materials and the proactive measures taken to map out the suppliers’ network. True accountability starts with knowledge, which results in evaluating each link in the supply chain.

About the materials used:

  • Animal-friendly wool: all wool used in clothing items is animal-friendly and mulesing-free. According to the Responsible Wool Standard, the sheep receive proper care and produce high-quality and sustainable wool.
  • BCI-certified cotton: the airline only uses responsibly grown cotton from the Better Cotton Initiative. This means that the cotton fibers grow more sustainably, taking working conditions and the impact on the environment into account.
  • Recycled polyester: the uniforms mainly use recycled polyester. The textiles have a Global Recycled Standard with at least 50% recycled fibers or materials, including plastic bottles or fishing nets.
  • Vegan leather shoes: Innovative biobased alternatives for leather, such as cactus- or grape-based leather. These synthetic leathers are partly produced from other industry waste streams.

The airline will collect the current uniforms to give them a second life. Brussels Airlines will share more details on that upcycling program in the near future.

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