18 August 2009

Take no bags - rent your clothes on arrival

Girl kneeling on packed suitcaseI'll admit I did check the dateline at the top of this story to ensure it wasn't April 1st.

This is a new online service from Canada, which was being promoted yesterday at the Tourism Futures conference on the Gold Coast, Australia, according to The Age.

The zerobaggage idea is to build a community of users and suppliers in cities worldwide. Then users can travel to those cities with no luggage, and either pre-order borrow (good for students), rent or buy (good for the rest of us) clothes which will be waiting in the hotel room on arrival.

It's an attempt to tackle the environmental cost of carrying huge volumes of luggage around the skies... in the eyes of founder, Catharine MacIntosh, unnecessarily. The trouble is, I doubt many people are going to agree with her. (Put it this way, I'm not expecting to check out the zerobaggage url in a year's time and find it still working.)

Not all is 'pie in the sky'. There is one salvageable concept buried in her plans.

The idea is that on departure, a user hands back the clothes if rented or borrowed. Or, if purchased, stores them in a local locker to be loaned to others....or used on return. Now, for a business traveller who makes regular return visits to some cities, a local 'zeroluggage' locker service -clothes collected from hotel, washed, stored and replaced in room on return visit - could be useful... especially if his/her 'stash' could be supplemented from local stores through an online shop.


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