Hospitality’s wellness turns used bed linens to pajamas using industry best practices and new technology, helping children sleep and feel better. Mallika Naguran reports.
Singapore, 13 April 2018. Westin Hotels & Resorts last month launched Project Rise: ThreadForward, a programme that collects, processes and reweaves hotel bed linens transforming them into thousands of pairs of children’s pajamas.
This project is part of the hotel chain’s sustainable tourism initiative. It also integrates with the brand’s Six Pillars of Well-Being: Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well.
The first-of-its-kind pajamas will be distributed to children in need, whose circumstances can contribute to shortened and more fragmented sleep. Beginning 16 April, Westin will give the gift of better sleep beyond the brand’s hotels, in cities around the world: from New York and Toronto, to Mexico City and Cape Town, and will encourage guests to support by purchasing a pair of pajamas on westinstore.com to benefit the program.
In Asia, the pajamas will be made available and distributed to children in the next few months.
“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, SVP & 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 as a whole.”
Last year Westin introduced a global campaign called Let’s Rise, taking on the distractions and unpredictability of travel and empowering people to regain control of their well-being when they need it most, while traveling.
As part of the brand’s rally-cry, Westin looked to their associates for an idea to empower the communities in which they live and work. The brand launched a challenge, Project Rise, asking associates to submit those ideas through the lens of the Six Pillars of Well-being; one idea would be selected and solution funded by the brand.
More than 325 associates from around the world submitted ideas; one inspired insight encouraged the brand to repurpose discarded bed linens that often don’t have a centralised recycling process or recipient.
“The whole point of having a sleep routine is to put your mind at ease … moving from a stressful time to something calm, and if you have something comfortable to wear, that feels good on the skin, that helps you feel better and contributes to having a good night sleep,” said Dr. Michael Lim, paediatric consultant from the National University Hospital of Singapore.
Dr. Lim also cited studies that showed the ill effects of blue light from electronic devices such as smart phones and tablet PCs on good sleep. "Yellow light (from bulbs), reading and going to bed early are better for sleep and health."
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 programme, 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.
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 re-weaved into new material, using industry best practices in textile manufacturing.
The Westin Singapore contributed some 200 linens to this pilot project. 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.
"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 colour palette, zest, mint and flax (grey) as well as a whimsical illustration of a child rising over a moon with a book – a nod to a better sleep empowering a better day. They will be created in sizes 2-8.
With Delivering Good and their network of community partners, Westin will begin donating the first 1500 pajamas next month to children in need, who are most prone to suffer sleep anxieties, in markets around the world.
“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 & 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.”
Westin Upcycled Pajamas For Sale
Beginning on April 16th, the children’s pajamas will be retailed for USD $25.00 at Westinstore.com, and a portion of proceeds will go back to Delivering Good and continuing to support the efforts to give every child the opportunity to Sleep Well.
For more information about the Westin brand’s campaign: Let’s Rise, its commitment to sleep or to learn more about Project Rise: ThreadForward, please visit: www.westin.com/threadforward.