New Travel Service Lets You Borrow a Suitcase Full of Clothing
Google the phrase “how to pack a suitcase” and you’ll be presented with more than 12 million articles. Clearly, packing is a problem — and one that a new start-up called unPack is hoping to solve. The basic premise is this: If you’re willing to let a stranger drive you around town via Uber or Lyft, and sleep in someone you don’t know’s guest bedroom courtesy of Airbnb, why wouldn’t you borrow someone else’s clothes?
Okay, so there’s a little more to it than that. According to the company, its goal (as discussed in the video below) is to “eliminate luggage and keep you from having to pack when you travel.” But it knows that personal style is important, so the first step in registering with unPack is filling out an online profile in which you'll share your clothing sizes and preferred fits as well as your favorite designers to better customize the experience.
When you’re ready to see what it feels like to travel baggage-free, you'll log in to the site, input your travel dates and destination, tell them what kind of trip it will be (as you’d dress differently for a lazy beach holiday than an important business meeting), share some of your planned activities and whether you need any additional items like toiletries. That’s it.
When you arrive at your hotel, a suitcase full of new-to-you clothing will be waiting for you. Yes, it's gently worn, but professionally cleaned every time it's returned (think Parks and Recreation's Rent-a-Swag, but with delivery). When it’s time to leave, you’ll leave the bag at the front desk (with all of the rented clothing intact, of course) and make your way back home without having to lug a thing.
If the concept sounds familiar, it might be because company co-founders Aaron Liskov and Andrew Zahornacky actually pitched the service on Shark Tank in late October, where they were looking for $500,000 for a 40 percent equity share. While – spoiler alert! — it did not end well for them, the company is pushing forward. Though it’s currently only available in New York City, Liskov and Zahornacky are looking to expand unPack to Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. in the near future. Welcome to the sharing economy!