Japan Airlines (JAL), the renowned flag carrier of Japan, has embarked on an ambitious year-long trial of a groundbreaking service aimed at revolutionizing the way we travel. The “Any Wear, Anywhere” service, which runs through the end of August 2024, offers travelers a novel solution to the perennial problem of packing for vacations, all while potentially reducing carbon emissions.
The Any Wear, Anywhere Concept
The concept behind Any Wear, Anywhere is refreshingly simple yet profoundly effective. Instead of packing your luggage with clothes, travelers can choose to book a set of garments tailored to different styles and seasons, which will be waiting for them at their hotel upon arrival. At the end of their stay, the clothes are collected, laundered, and returned to the system. This innovative approach effectively eliminates the need for travelers to drag around heavy suitcases or seek out laundry facilities during their vacations.
The brains behind this innovative service is Miho Moriya, who saw an unmet need in the travel industry and submitted her idea through an internal entrepreneurial challenge within her company, Sumitomo. After approval, the service finally took off, albeit with a pandemic-related delay.
How Does It Work?
Users of the Any Wear, Anywhere service can log onto the website and customize their clothing preferences, including gender, season, style (smart or casual), and the number of tops and bottoms needed. The selected garments, which are either pre-owned or sourced from company overstock, are available at reasonable prices ranging from $34 to $48 for the entire rental period.
Global Response and Potential Emissions Reduction
Since its launch in July, Any Wear, Anywhere has garnered an overwhelmingly positive response, with requests pouring in from over 115 countries worldwide. The United States and Australia are leading the way in adopting this game-changing service.
Japan Airlines believes that this service could have a significant impact on reducing carbon emissions. According to their estimates, every 22 pounds (10 kilograms) of luggage weight saved translates to approximately 16.5 pounds (7.5 kilograms) of emissions saved. This is equivalent to running a hair dryer for 10 minutes a day for a staggering 78 days.
Is It Sustainable?
The true sustainability of this initiative will be revealed at the end of the trial when Japan Airlines calculates the precise reduction in emissions and weight savings. However, there are challenges to overcome. Gary Crichlow, an aviation analyst at AviationValues, emphasizes the importance of proving a causal link between reduced baggage weight and the initiative.
The ultimate goal is to ensure that lower passenger baggage weight translates into reduced fuel consumption, as this is what truly matters from an emissions standpoint. Airlines may have economic incentives to offset reduced passenger baggage weight with revenue-generating cargo, potentially running contrary to the initiative’s aims.
A Positive Step for Sustainable Travel
Nina Gbor, a sustainable fashion expert and educator, lauds the Any Wear, Anywhere project as a positive step toward more sustainable travel. By reducing the need for travelers to purchase new clothing for trips, this service can minimize clothing waste and the consumption of virgin resources. It also repurposes excess stock and pre-owned apparel that might otherwise end up in landfills or incinerators.
Gbor points out that extending the life of clothes by just nine extra months of active use can reduce carbon, water, and waste footprints by approximately 20-30% each.
The Future of Travel
With global flight projections set to reach 32.4 million passengers in 2023, there is a growing need for airlines to adopt sustainable practices. Gbor suggests that the clothing rental model should be embraced by more airlines globally, especially those serious about supporting the circular economy and achieving sustainability goals.
Miho Moriya shares this ambition and hopes to expand the partnership with Japan Airlines to other members of the OneWorld Alliance, which includes major carriers like American Airlines, British Airways, and Qantas. Ultimately, the goal is to offer the service worldwide, transforming the way we travel and contributing to a more sustainable future for the travel industry.
Japan Airlines’ Any Wear, Anywhere service represents a significant step forward in sustainable travel, offering convenience to travelers and potential emissions reduction for the airline industry. As the trial progresses and data accumulates, it will be interesting to see how this innovative concept transforms the way we approach packing and luggage while also benefiting the environment.
Here are some links for our readers with valuable perspectives from reputable sources that support and expand on the ideas discussed in this article. Explore and enrich yourself.
- Japan Airlines Official Website
- Sustainable Travel Tips
- Aviation Emissions Reduction Efforts
- Circular Economy in Fashion
- OneWorld Alliance Member Airlines