A one-way ticket, a packed suitcase, and plenty of places to see; this has always been my version of heaven. I am Vanessa Martin, Managing Director at Courier Luggage, and for as long as I can remember there has always been a big place in my heart reserved for exploring the beautiful world we live in.
This couldn’t be truer for Courier Luggage as a whole. For over 45 years, our Adelaide based company has been dedicated to creating practical, hardwearing luggage, with a love for travel always being a major focus - just as it is for me.
Despite our history in the industry, when I took over the position of Managing Director in 2004, I knew our company had so much more to give. Times were changing, our world was changing, and we needed to keep changing with it – for the better.
This is largely because, the more I saw of the world, the more I saw that something wasn’t quite right. Whether I was walking down the bustling streets of New York City, or soaking up sun on one of Greece’s Islands, I was struck by how human activity was taking its toll on the places I had travelled to, and had grown to love.
As heartbreaking as it is, the travel and tourism industry has become one of the major contributors to global pollution, and its cost on the environment is far more than the price of a plane ticket or hotel room. After seeing the increase in waste, specifically plastic waste, and the devastating impact it was having on both people and planet, I realised our immediate responsibility to care about how we travel, and what we travel with.
In 2009, it was time to change the way our company approached the design and construction of our products. I began an initiative using recycled plastic bottles to create a sustainable, innovative line of luggage. Over nine years of research, trial and error, we created a collection that was not only stylish and functional, but also helping to make a difference.
Making a difference is something we continue to strive for. From sourcing our materials from sustainable suppliers, to ensuring our luggage is made in ethical conditions, we want to show that there is never an excuse for exploiting workers or the environment.
I have been proud to see the company embrace this ethos as we continue to move into new areas, and find new ways of doing things. By delving into sectors like business and sport, we have been able to embrace new technologies, resulting in exciting designs, including hybrid luggage and combination business-gym bags. We have also become Australia’s leading provider of school bags, aiding a generation that is engaging with our planet’s issues in a truly meaningful way. That has been something really special.
However, in the past few months, we have all experienced a drastic change to our reality. The outbreak of Covid-19, and consequent decline in domestic and international travel, was a wakeup call to the fragility of things we often take for granted. I realised that we, a company with a focus on and passion for travel, needed to find new ways to support our customers during this time.
So, even though people have been staying home, keeping each other safe, we are continuing to evolve. From stationary to tech accessories, we are introducing a new range of products adapted for the extraordinary times we’re living in. As always, you can expect quality items, all of them stylish, ethical, and practical.
I don’t know where we will be in a month’s time, let alone a year’s time. But I do know that as things change, we will continue to change with them, as always, with an open mind and a small footprint.
And once you are able to continue exploring new places, we’ll be here to help you. We’ll be here to look out for you and the world at your feet.