Travellers flying with Japan Airlines now have a unique option for packing for their trips, thanks to a year-long trial of a service called “Any Wear, Anywhere.” This service allows travelers to book a set of clothes that caters to different styles and seasons and the clothing is delivered to their hotel upon arrival. At the end of their stay, the clothes are collected, laundered, and put back into the system for future use.
Japan Airlines initiated this groundbreaking trial, which is set to run until the end of August 2024, with the aim of reducing carbon emissions by decreasing the weight carried by their aeroplanes.
The concept behind Any Wear, Anywhere is simple but innovative. It estimates that for every 22 pounds (10 kilograms) of luggage saved, approximately 16.5 pounds (7.5 kilograms) of emissions are reduced, equating to the energy usage of a hair dryer running for 10 minutes a day for 78 days.
The brainchild behind this service, Miho Moriya, who manages Any Wear, Anywhere for Sumitomo, the Japanese company responsible for reservations, deliveries, and laundering of clothes, expressed her inspiration, saying, “When travelling, the three most important things for me are accommodation, food, and clothing. When we travel abroad, there are hotels and restaurants that provide lodging and food on site, but not clothing. Why do we have to bring our clothes from home?”
Users of the service can access the website and make selections based on gender, season, style (smart or casual), the number of tops and bottoms, and pickup and return dates. Prices for the entire rental period range between $34 and $48.
The clothes provided by Any Wear, Anywhere are either pre-owned or sourced from company overstock, although this information is not disclosed to users. Since its launch in July, the service has garnered a positive response worldwide, with requests coming in from over 115 countries, even without formal promotion. The United States and Australia have shown the most significant user engagement.
The true impact of this trial will be determined at its conclusion when Japan Airlines evaluates the weight savings and calculates the precise reduction in emissions. Moriya emphasizes the need to consider both the emissions produced by delivering the clothes and the laundering process.
Reducing weight is a well-established method for saving fuel and cutting emissions in the aviation industry. Even minor reductions in weight, such as lighter passenger seats or replacing paper manuals with tablets, can result in significant fuel savings. Japan Airlines must establish a causal link between passengers travelling with less baggage and the initiative’s impact on fuel consumption.
Gary Crichlow, an aviation analyst at consulting firm AviationValues, states, “What matters from an emissions standpoint is how much fuel is burnt hoisting the total weight over the aircraft into the air and keeping it there until it lands in Japan.” He highlights the importance of transparency in assessing the real weight saved per flight and the resulting reduction in fuel consumption.
Sustainable fashion expert Nina Gbor praises the initiative for reducing clothing waste and making use of excess stock and pre-owned apparel, thus contributing to sustainability goals. Gbor suggests that other airlines should consider adopting similar clothing rental models to support the circular economy.
Miho Moriya aspires to expand the partnership with Japan Airlines to other members of the OneWorld Alliance, which includes American Airlines, British Airways, and Qantas, with the ultimate goal of extending the service worldwide.