The sustainable travel and eco-tourism industry is slowly seeing a boost as more people become aware of the consequences of their itineraries. But we need to dive a little deeper and see what are the smaller changes we can make to our travel essentials before we reach a point of “Should we fly economy class or in a private jet?”. Not-so-fun-fact: suitcases are not recyclable and end up in the landfill 9 out of 10 times. To combat this waste that stems from our love for traveling, a team of designers created RHITA – a suitcase that is super easy to assemble and disassemble which makes it easier to repair or recycle.
“Every year hundred thousand of discarded luggage caused by damaged wheels, handles, shells or shells that are deformed or damaged by collision, hard to be repaired or disassemble for recycling, bringing great impact to the environment. Hence, design for assembly and disassembly allows the suitcase easy to repair or recycle, reduced parts by simplifying the structure and minimized material used, downsize shipping volume to decrease carbon footprint boosting sustainability,” says the design team. RHITA’s simplified structure reduces the number of parts used in production by 70% when compared to traditional suitcases. Even the space needed for transportation has been reduced by 33%. It features an innovative hinge system and a unique installation method – no glue or rivet for fixation, no sewing of the inner lining, maximizing the space inside as well as a quick fasten and loosen wheel mechanism.
This revised form lets you purchase parts in the desired color for replacement or repair only what’s necessary instead of completely discarding the bag and buying a new one. When the suitcase’s life cycle comes to an end, recycling is not simple and this suitcase is designed for making the life of the product longer while our experience with it becomes more sustainable. When RHITA reaches the end of its usable life, it is easy to recycle and therefore adds another much-needed dimension to the sustainable travel industry.
“I appreciate this young designer’s determination to squarely face the challenges of today’s industrial design, such as recycling, sustainability, and efficient transportation, and to find the best answers for the future,” said the A’Design Award Competition’s jury. RHITA won the Silver A’Design Award in Sustainable Products, Projects, and Green Design Category, 2019 – 2020.
Designers: Jhen Jia Yang, Yun Cheng, and Chun Yu Pan