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Capturing both the spirit of innovation embedded in Emirates’ culture, and an ongoing environmental commitment to consuming responsibly, Emirates is launching a unique capsule collection of luggage, bags and accessories – all fashioned from upcycled materials from retrofitted aircraft.

The limited-edition range features a selection of suitcases, backpacks, handbags, cardholders, toiletry bags, belts and even shoes – all designed and handmade by Emirates tailors in a dedicated cabin workshop, at Emirates Engineering facility in Dubai. Scheduled for sale in 2024 in Emirates Official Stores, all proceeds will be donated to children in need, via the Emirates Airline Foundation. A selection of bags and accessories will also be on display at the Dubai Airshow in DWC, from 13-17 November, on the Emirates stand.

Offering a chance to own a piece of history, the materials used to craft the stylish collection have been gathered from the iconic Emirates A380, as well as from 777 aircraft. All kinds of surprising materials have been repurposed for the luggage and bags, from aluminium headrests, to leather from couches in the A380 onboard lounge, to seatbelts and even fur from the Captains seat. From 16 retrofitted aircraft, more than 14,000kg of materials have already been recovered. As the project continues, there is scope to recover up to 270kg of leather and 627kg of seat fabric, per retrofitted aircraft.

As each piece is handmade to order, customers may be able to request personalised laser engraving on some exclusive, one-of-a-kind bags, suitcases or document holders. Aviation fans will be able to register their interest soon, but these special pieces are in limited quantity.

The materials used are high quality pure leather from the First Class Seats, seat fabrics of 95% wool and pure leather from the Captain’s seats. All fabrics are freshly laundered in a facility, then further deep cleaned by hand, leather-conditioned if required, and thoroughly disinfected before being sewn into unique pieces. Brand new lining is added to the bags, along with functional zippers.

Emirates has a team of 14 ‘tailors’, officially titled as Engineering Maintenance Assistants, whose role involves fixing and stitching any tears in the interiors of Emirates vast aircraft fleet. Four of these tailors are currently dedicated full-time to the upcycling initiative, crafting upcycled products and collaborating with suppliers for ideas on how to repurpose various materials.

In August 2022, Emirates undertook the largest known fleet retrofit project, as part of a multi-billion-dollar investment to elevate customer experience. Emirates aims to upgrade the entire interior cabins of 120 of its Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft – two of the largest commercial aircraft types in service today. Managed entirely by Emirates’ Engineering team, the retrofit is a considerable project that will take a minimum of 2 years to complete. Once the 67 earmarked A380s are refreshed and back in service, 53 777s will then undergo their facelift. This will see nearly 4,000 brand new Premium Economy seats installed, 728 First Class suites refurbished and over 5,000 Business Class seats upgraded to a new style and design when the project is complete.

Our region was hit by storms that severely damaged the electricity transmission network in several countries this August. In Croatia, this caused more high impact blackouts. Consumption fell drastically, but the amount of energy produced remained unchanged, creating a surplus on the grid and putting the TSO in a difficult situation. What can operators do in this situation and how can energy producers benefit from it? Kornél Tóth, energy market expert, says virtual power plants could be the answer.

Stanislav Chvála, CEO of Nano Energies

The electricity network is highly exposed to increasingly frequent extreme weather conditions, and it is easy to damage transmission lines, for example in a major storm. In Croatia, there have been several incidents recently, with 27 transmission line poles damaged or toppled, and the network has been severely damaged. In such cases, the blackouts cause sudden power cuts, but the energy already generated is retained. This summer we have seen similar storms in Hungary, and with the growth of renewable energy sources, it is becoming increasingly easy for the grid to become unbalanced, so it is worth being prepared for events like the ones in Croatia.

Weather disruptions mainly affect the distribution infrastructure of the electricity grid, i.e. the transmission between generation and consumption. The system continues to produce energy, also because of the increasing share of renewables, but damaged transmission lines mean that there is no way to get this energy to consumers. When some of the users are suddenly disconnected from the grid, the resulting excess energy poses a significant risk. End-user devices are not fit to handle the surplus, which can damage them and lead to dangerous accidents. In the energy system, a balance between production and consumption must be maintained at all times and producers should be regulated accordingly.

A flexibility aggregator providers help to balance the grid by coordinating consumption and production, explains Kornél Tóth, Head of Nano Energies Hungary. „During the Croatian storm, we had to hold back our partners' production for 75 minutes to stabilise the system, which ultimately freed the grid from 14 MW of excess energy. However, despite the curtailment, our customers received an extra revenue of around €10,000 instead of a loss, while the load on the grid was reduced. This type of grid balancing ancillary service is also available in Hungary, so Hungarian producers or consumers can help balance the grid in similar cases, which also means a higher extra revenue stream for them than in Croatia" adds Kornél Tóth .

Flexibility aggregators, which act as a virtual power plant and access otherwise untapped energy resources, will play a key role in grid developments in the coming years. They help suppliers produce electricity when they get the best price and consumers to use electricity when it is cheapest.

"Producers are already compensated for being on standby to reduce or shut down plant output and receive additional revenue for the activation itself. The resulting revenue covers, and usually exceeds, the amount the plant would have earned by generating electricity," adds Kornél Tóth.

In Hungary, there are around 2 million cats and 3 million dogs living as pets, and we celebrate them at the beginning and end of August. But this month also marks the hundreds of thousands of orphaned pets who have been denied the comfort and peace of home. Mars, which distributes popular pet food brands such as Pedigree and Whiskas, has been committed for a long time to supporting homeless, stray pets, with a key focus on helping animal shelters and encouraging adoption - in line with its purpose to create a Better World for Pets

Would you like a furry friend? - Consider adopting one in the first place

In Hungary, most shelters are overcapacity, while the number of adoptions has fallen. Taking in or rescuing a shelter pet not only significantly improves the quality of life of the animal, but also helps the shelter by providing a place for another cat or dog in need. Another advantage of adoption is that the shelter staff know the animals in their care well, so they can help find a companion that best suits the prospective owner's home, personality and lifestyle. At present, black pets are the least likely to find a new home, and black cats have the worst chance of finding a new home. Many people still associate black cats with bad luck, even though a purring pet - regardless of its coat - can be a good thing for its owner.

The uplifting influence of cats and dogs: Both can bring joy to our lives

A survey conducted earlier this year as part of Whiskas' #Iamacatperson initiative found that the biggest benefit of having a cat is the daily companionship these independent and strong personality pets provide (76%), while nearly as many people believe that their proximity has a stress-relieving, calming effect (70%). The majority of cat owners also agree that having a pet has improved not only their quality of life, but also their mental health.

On the other hand, dogs are called man's best friend for a reason, and their companionship can also have a positive impact on their owners' wellbeing. As loyal pets, dogs never let down those they reward with their love. That's why our four-legged friends deserve to be celebrated on the approaching International World Dog Day, 26 August, and to find families for as many of them as possible.

"We believe that all pets deserve a loving home, which is why we place great emphasis on supporting and educating those who care for them. And the opportunity to help a shelter is now open to everyone, whether it's through financial supportort or volunteering," said Mihaela Negrescu, Senior Portfolio Manager from Mars.

Supporting responsible pet ownership, promoting pet-friendly office concept

One of Mars' objectives is to create a better world for pets, which includes - beside advocating for adoptions-supporting shelters and promoting pet-friendly offices, and educating owners. For more than 10 years, pets have been an integral part of the company's office life. Their presence has been proven to make the workplace more pleasant, increase productivity and reduce stress, and pets are happier and more balanced because they can spend their days close to their owners.

Mars is encouraging other organisations to follow their example and set up pet-friendly offices. To do this, it has put together a publicly available, free background resource with guides and best practices to make it easy to become a pet-friendly workplace.

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