Innovation That Matters

No-frills eco chic

Travel & Tourism

No-frills chic has been covered extensively by our sister website Industries from ranging from fast fashion to low-cost airlines have adopted the consumer favourite of high style combined with affordable prices. Now, with the growing wave of concern for consumerism’s negative impact on the environment, a third element is being added to the no-frills chic equation: eco-friendliness. Inspirational example? A new hotel chain in Canada, due to open its first location this year. Run by family-owned Groupe Germain, ALT Hotels will combine design, atmosphere and chic interiors with the best possible price *and* with serious efforts to minimize impact on the planet. The Montreal hotel will incorporate geothermal technology, which is an industry first in Canada. Designed by architect Viateur Michaud, ALT Montreal will use the earth’s constant temperature of 10 degrees Celsius (at a depth of about three meters) to help heat and cool the hotel as needed. Other energy-saving measures include efficient lighting throughout the building, and heat recovery from water used in commercial washers. Earth-friendly measures come at a cost, especially those that go beyond labels and so-called greenwashing. Which presents a challenge for manufacturers and service providers. The solution? Become even more innovative, from the ground up. To save costs without skimping on style, ALT Hotels is using a new construction concept: pre-fabricated rooms. The sleek, modular rooms are built off-site by a furniture manufacturer, making it possible to assemble rooms while the hotel itself is still being built. Have you spotted other examples of cheap-chic-green products or companies? Please share by leaving a comment below. Spotted by: Therese Nguyen



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