Travelin' Man

How to Travel Like Jaden Smith

“I just wear the same clothes a lot,” Smith, who recently launched Harper Collective, a new sustainable luggage brand made from recycled sea plastic, tells Vanity Fair.
Jaden Smith sitting on pile of plastic with four suitcases.
Courtesy of Harper Collective.

It’s safe to say that Jaden Smith knows a thing or two about being on the go—traversing the globe is just part of the actor, musician, fashion designer, and philanthropist’s day-to-day life. So, it seems like a natural fit that Smith’s latest project would be reflective of his travel-centric lifestyle.

Courtesy of Harper Collective.

Alongside Sebastian Manes, Smith has just launched Harper Collective, a collection of luggage made in the UK from recycled sea plastics. “[Manes] kind of came to me with this idea for Harper Collective that he’d been working to have sustainable luggage and that he wanted to work on together and that was a couple of years ago. He kind of brought me in on an idea that was already going in and I just loved it. I feel like we just connected on it instantly and it was a really beautiful thing,” Smith, who previously collaborated with Manes on his clothing line MSFTSrep, told Vanity Fair.

With four different size suitcases ranging from Cabin to Trunk available in black and green, Harper Collective set out to put sustainability first by making minimal, yet functional luggage, lined with fabrics by heritage British brand Barbour. “Because I travel the world, I think the biggest thing about it for me was the sustainable aspect of the trunk and being able to say, Hey, so how much recycled plastic is it made out of and how many different pieces in the bag can be made recycled or reusable?” Smith said.

A self-proclaimed pioneer of recycled plastic, he’s even outfitted his home with wares made from the eco-friendly material. “I have so many different recycled plastic products that I own. My conference table is made out of recycled plastic. The chairs that sit around it are made out of recycled plastic, and I have benches and other tables and other chairs that are made out of recycled plastic. And it’s something that’s really important to me and so many different art pieces,” he said.

Courtesy of Harper Collective.

In addition to being inspired by Boyan Slat of The Ocean Cleanup and Dave Hakkens from Precious Plastic, he first learned about the importance of prioritizing the environment from two teachers during grade school. “One of them told me that the environment was alive and I thought that was amazing, because I had no idea, and the other one told me that the environment was dying and that really blew my mind and it made me really scared. I think at that point, when I was starting to surf around the age of seven or eight, I fell in love with the earth and the planet,” he said.

Courtesy of Harper Collective.

When it comes to catching a flight, Smith’s outlook on packing is fully aligned with his desire to live sustainably. “I am such a minimal packer … I’ll pack super duper light. I’ll take one of the small Harper things with me for the whole time that I’m in Paris or London and it’ll be perfect,” he said.

His tried and true approach to traveling in style? Rewearing clothes. “I just wear the same clothes a lot. So I try just not to switch clothes. It’s not a big thing,” he said. And as for what makes the cut in his travel wardrobe, he relies on the basics. “I would pack some jeans in the bag. I would pack swim trunks in the bag. I’ll pack jean shorts, a shirt, a hoodie, and then one thing on top of it to just make it all kind of crazy. And then I would wear the heaviest stuff that would take up the most space inside of the airport.”