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A unique way to beat extra baggage fees

Travelling during a global pandemic can be a costly venture, especially when that travel is an expat’s return to home. 


Kiwi fashion designer Bruno Harding had been living in Berlin with his wife for over a year. Like so many others, the pandemic prompted the couple to return to New Zealand. 


But you can accumulate a lot in a year and a half, so, rather than paying excess baggage fees to get their stuff home, Harding took to his sewing machine.


The result was a coat that could carry almost 7kg, Stuff NZ reported.


“I always thought it would be quite an interesting idea," he said.


"I did a bit of research into people who had failed doing similar things, like wearing five coats and five pairs of jeans and looking kind of ridiculous."


Harding’s goal was to create a puffer-type coat, but instead of down, he would fill it with his clothes. 


All it took was a trip to the local flea market where he picked up a couple of metres of nylon and some intense Marie Kondo-like folding.


"The first few times I made it, I just shoved it with clothes, and it looked ridiculous. I looked like a suspicious human who had stolen lots of goods who was trying to leave a store."


In the end, he successfully filled the coat with 29 items of clothing.

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A post shared by Bruno’s (@brunosoriginals)


"It was surprisingly weighty," Harding said of the 6.8 kg coat.


"It felt like an anxiety blanket – you were quite calmed, which was good for that journey."


Harding was worried that the coat wouldn’t pass muster, and had a back up plan to leave it in a storage locker for a friend to send to him. But he passed through security without a hitch, and when he got too hot, simply walked around the airport with it slung over his arm.


"I was like, I'm really cheating the system now – I'm basically carrying another bag, but it's a jacket."


Harding is currently prepping to relocate to New York, but is concerned about pulling out his handy creation for that move.


"The security in American airports is a bit more terrifying… I'm not sure if I would want to."

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Published: 27 July 2021

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