By Alison Fox
Updated March 04, 2020

American Airlines debuted new uniforms this week  following a 2017 lawsuit alleging that old uniforms were hazardous to employees. 

The new uniforms, given to more than 50,000 employees, are manufactured by Lands’ End. All components — like sewing threads, buttons and zippers — have been independently tested for hazardous chemicals, according to the airline. Employees will get to choose between a wool-blend or synthetic suiting fabric.

Courtesy of American Airlines

The lawsuit was against the former manufacturer, Twin Hill, alleged the old uniforms caused more than 5,000 American Airlines employees — including flight attendants, pilots, and gate agents — to become sick with a rash, severe headaches, and difficulty breathing.

“When we set out to create our new uniform collection, the clear goal was to deliver an industry-leading program with the highest levels of safety, input and choice,” Brady Byrnes, the airline’s managing director of fight service base operations, said in a statement this week. “Today’s launch is the culmination of years’ worth of input from team members, wear testing in the operation and the highest levels of garment certification… This isn’t just a uniform for our team members, it’s one that was created by them, and we are excited to turn the page.”

More than 1.7 million pieces were manufactured as part of the new uniforms, which were also field tested by more than 1,000 frontline employees for six months, the company said.

Lori Bassani, the president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, told CNN Business the new uniforms are the "safest airline uniform in the industry.” 

"Our union representatives were involved every step of the way to ensure that this uniform reached the highest standards, right down to the thread, buttons, and zippers," she said.

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