Enhancing Travel Comfort with Clothing Rentals
When embarking on a journey, three essentials often come to mind: accommodation, food, and clothing. But why is it that while hotels and restaurants cater to lodging and dining needs, clothing remains an overlooked aspect of travel preparation?
Moriya’s Innovative Idea
Moriya recognized this gap and presented her solution through an internal entrepreneurial challenge within her company. After approval, the project faced delays due to the pandemic. Yet, perseverance paid off, and eventually, an airline willing to support this unique concept was found.
User-Friendly Clothing Selection
Travelers can now easily access this service by visiting the website. They can customize their clothing choices based on gender, season, style (smart or casual), the number of garments needed, and pickup and return dates. Once chosen, their selected attire awaits them at the hotel, with prices ranging from US$34 to US$48 for the entire rental period.
All clothing items offered through this service are either pre-owned or sourced from the company’s excess stock. However, users are not provided with this specific sourcing information. Since its launch in July, the service has received an overwhelmingly positive response, garnering interest from over 115 countries, with the United States and Australia having the highest number of users.
Measuring Environmental Impact
The true environmental impact of this initiative remains to be seen. Japan Airlines plans to assess the weight savings and calculate the exact reduction in emissions. This evaluation will include emissions produced during clothing deliveries and laundering.
Reducing Weight, Reducing Emissions
Weight reduction has long been acknowledged as an effective method for saving fuel and reducing emissions in the aviation industry. Manufacturers and airlines have incorporated weight-reduction strategies, such as designing lighter seats and replacing bulky paper manuals with tablets. Even minor weight reductions can have a substantial impact. For instance, when Qantas redesigned its tableware to be 11% lighter, it resulted in saving 1.1 million pounds (535 metric tons) of fuel per year.
However, for this initiative to succeed, Japan Airlines must demonstrate a statistically significant reduction in baggage weight and establish a causal link to the project. Furthermore, it remains to be seen whether lower baggage weight translates into reduced fuel consumption, which is crucial for reducing emissions effectively.
A Positive Step Towards Sustainability
Sustainable fashion expert Nina Gbor applauds the project as a positive step. Often, people purchase new clothes specifically for their vacations and business trips, leading to unnecessary clothing waste and the consumption of virgin resources. This service not only reduces waste but also repurposes excess stock and pre-owned apparel that might have ended up in landfills or incinerated.
An Invitation to Airlines Worldwide
Gbor believes that more airlines should follow suit. With global flights expected to reach 32.4 million passengers in 2023, adopting a clothing rental model can support the circular economy and help airlines achieve their sustainability goals.
Moriya’s ambition extends beyond Japan Airlines. She hopes to expand this service to other members of the OneWorld Alliance, including American Airlines, British Airways, and Qantas, and eventually to other alliances. The ultimate goal is to make this service available worldwide, revolutionizing the way travelers approach clothing for their journeys.