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Zero Baggage Eliminates the Need for Checked Luggage

| Friday March 26th, 2010 | 7 Comments

ban-startup-friday

It’s a dream that’s probably flitted through everyone’s mind at some point: to travel completely baggage-free.

The problem of course, for those of us unable to afford a new wardrobe for each destination, is what to wear when you get there. Zero Baggage hopes to provide the answer.

The startup has concocted a service for travelers that provides them with the clothes and other essentials they need at their final destination. Users simply fill in an online virtual suitcase, the contents of which will be waiting in their hotel room when they arrive. Items are used but clean and well-maintained, new or one-use only.

Weight saved by eliminating checked luggage can be converted into carbon credits which can be spent on various treats. The service hopes to be up and running in November.

But will it fly?

As Zero Baggage founder Catharine MacIntosh points out in an airy promotional video, a handful of discount airlines have already instituted no-baggage flights. And fees for checked baggage have been going up.

But while there is no doubt that many many people would jump at the opportunity to ditch their luggage, sharing clothes with virtual strangers may not be the answer they are looking for.

On the other hand, many people wear second-hand clothing. And as for intimates and toothbrushes, you’ll still have your carry-on.

Weightless living

Zero Baggage will also offer “virtual closets” in different cities. Travelers can store their own and rented items in these closets for use when they get there. And it’s not necessary to travel to take advantage of Zero Baggage’s store of circulated items — they can be rented at home as well.

Think of it as a concierge service for communitarians, or a way to bring “us closer to a state of seamless travel and weightless living,” as Zero Baggage explains on its website.


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  • Jenn

    There is a difference between second hand clothing and clothing that hundreds of people have worn. Besides what if it nothing fits or they lose your order.

  • nickaster

    This is a pretty hilarious idea. I kinda like it, though whether it's really “sustainable” is a little dubious.

  • Heather

    I have trouble believing they'd have anything I'd willingly wear ;) I'd love to see if they offered a “goth” section vs. a “casual” and “business” section so that a person didn't have to give up their taste for the service. Although I don't travel for just a few days or stay in hotels, so I don't think it would apply to me anyway.

  • ray

    New or “one use”? What after that? Sounds pretty wasteful to me.

  • margueritefawcett

    I managed to travel to England for 3 weeks taking only a cabin bag and handbag; wore the heaviest stuff (boots, jeans, jumper, carried jacket) and borrowed other stuff while I was there from friends and relatives. Was great not to worry about bagge check ins etc. Only down side was not being able to shop up a storm while I was there as I would then have needed a suitcase to bring it all back!

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  • BV

    I don't understand how it could be second-hand clothing if its new or one-use only. How could it possibly be circulated if it has a maximum use of two times? I don't understand the language that is used in this article.

  • BV

    I don't understand how it could be second-hand clothing if its new or one-use only. How could it possibly be circulated if it has a maximum use of two times? I don't understand the language that is used in this article.