Sustainable travel: rent clothes for eco-friendly adventures

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By: Cristen Hemingway Jaynes

One of the most stressful things about traveling is having to pack. But what if all you had to do was book your flight and the packing part — choosing, organizing, folding and making the clothes fit in your suitcase — came with your airline ticket?

Japan Airlines (JAL) is taking the term “packing light” to a new level with its new clothing rental service, “Any Wear, Anywhere.” The service provides international travelers with the option to rent sets of clothing from a range of choices, starting at a little over $27 for two bottoms and three tops, reported Travel + Leisure.

“With more and more people flying again after the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the recent emphasis in sustainability, there is a growing movement around the world to promote sustainable tourism,” a press release from JAL said.

Multiple sets of seasonal clothing are available for rental in a range of sizes, from casual to smart casual or a combination of both, provided by Wefabrik. Travelers may rent as many as eight outfits for up to two weeks. The service is intended to reduce the weight of baggage and reduce carbon emissions, as well as save travelers hassle and time packing and laundering their own clothing. It also allows them to try on new styles without the pressure of buying them.

Reservations, delivery and washing of the clothes — which will be taken from overstock and pre-owned items — will be provided by Sumitomo Corporation. JAL will keep track of baggage weight reductions and corresponding carbon dioxide emissions reductions as a result of using the clothing rental service, and inform its customers.

JAL says that for each kilogram of weight that is avoided on a flight from Tokyo to New York, the carbon emissions from the aircraft are reduced by 0.75 kilograms, Simple Flying reported.

“Travelers increasingly desire to make more sustainable choices regarding their travel destinations, accommodations, transportation etc., they still lack sufficient options. For example, most travelers now enjoy eating at restaurants and staying at hotels at their destination, but they generally bring their own clothing from home,” the press release said.

To use the service, travelers need to register online and provide their JAL reference number, as well as the address of their short term rental or hotel. Reservations must be made a month in advance, and the clothing will be made available to them for as long as two weeks.

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“The concept of the Service is therefore to provide a travel experience with minimal luggage by offering clothing rentals at the destination, thereby creating environmental value. By expanding the use of the Service, we aim to create an environment where travelers can use local options for all aspects of their clothing, food, and accommodation, transforming travel and business trips into more sustainable experiences,” the press release said.

JAL’s Any Wear, Anywhere service is being offered as a year-long trial through August 31 2024.

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