Cathay makes 'lai see' red packets out of old uniforms for CNY

Cathay Pacific has given new meaning to sustainability for Chinese New Year with the release of "Well travelled lai see" – created using thousands of retired uniforms that were destined for the landfill.

Lai see are lucky money packets traditionally made of paper and are passed to family and friends at this time of year.

A staggering 320 million lai see packets are given out in Hong Kong every year, with nearly all of these paper packets thrown away after the holiday, and just under 2% recycled.

As the airline believes in travelling well, Cathay Pacific said it's actively involved in innovative solutions to help protect the world.

In partnership with agency McCann Worldgroup Hong Kong, its symbolic idea to create lai see out of retired uniforms has been designed to raise the conservation to a new level in Hong Kong.

The "Well travelled lai see" will not only eliminate paper waste - each lai see can also be re-used as a travel wallet, passport holder or even phone pouch.

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To create the recycled lai see, the retired uniforms started their new journey in the hands of Angus Tsui – a local eco-designer. He created a contemporary design style that would make each one unique from the next, with minimal waste.

Once the designs were finalised, Cathay Pacific then partnered with Redress and St James Upcycling Centre – a charity focused on helping the disabled community of Hong Kong – to manufacture the packets.

To highlight the spirit of giving at Chinese New Year, the bespoke Lai See are available for sale to the public with all profits going to a local Hong Kong charity.

Prian Chan, assistant environmental manager, Cathay Pacific said “We’re excited to be collaborating again with McCann and Angus on our limited-edition Lai See packets for the Year of the Dog in 2018. They are beautifully designed and make the perfect gift for loved ones.”

Martin Lever, executive creative director, McCann Worldgroup Hong Kong added, “In an increasingly disposable world, it’s lovely to work on a project that not only gives new meaning to a centuries-old tradition, but which also reduces waste in more ways than one. A very simple idea brought to life with layers of loving craft, and all designed for a good charitable cause. There’s no better way to create genuine brand love.”

Cathay Pacific
Grace Cheung, head of public engagement - corporate affairs department
Prian Chan, assistant environmental manager - corporate affairs department
Priscilla Chok, social media manager - corporate affairs department

McCann WorldGroup Hong Kong - Cathay Pacific central team
Brandon Cheung, managing director

Strategic planning
Prashant Galani, strategist
Tracy Lui, strategist

Account management
Julia Broughton, group account director
Adina Surdu, account director
Julian Egli, account manager

Channel planning
Annie Ng, associate channel planning director
Teresa Mok, channel planner

Martin Lever, executive creative director
Rick Kwan, creative director
Guilherme Pecego, creative director
Dan Jacques, associate creative director
Agnes Lee, associate creative director
Fanny Lau, associate creative director
Daniel Cheong, senior art director
Wai Wong, art director
O Mok, art director
Aneeza Arshad, junior art director
Juvenia Poon, head of Chinese copy
Jules O'Brien, English copywriter
Yvonne Cheng, Chinese copywriter
Debby Yung, English copywriter
Jennifer Chua, motion graphics designer

Wing Tam, producer