Could one night at a hotel benefit the greater good? One man tackled this question with the idea that upcycling is about more than material objects—it is about our time and happiness too.
The average Australian household spends more than $2,700 a year on holiday expenses. Imagine if this money sponsored a child in Africa, fed the homeless in Los Angeles or prevented human trafficking. It sounds too good to be true, but celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart believes it can be possible.
‘What if, as the local traveller, I could feel connected to a larger story out there?’
Cowart asked himself this as he travelled from city to city in 2012. Uninspired by the solitude of the common hotel, he came up with an idea that could revolutionise the way we holiday. He calls it The Purpose Hotel, and with it, he is restructuring our time and cash to benefit people around the world.
Upcycling should always add to the quality of an object. In this case, guests would upcycle their night of peace and luxury to benefit others in need around the globe. And the best part? It would all happen while you are asleep.
A global hotel chain based in Cowart’s home town of Nashville (US) will pilot the project if they achieve their funding goal. Each room will come with the name of a child who is sponsored when you check in. The linens, toiletries and design would all be crafted by local and international non-profits, and upgrading your wi-fi will go towards the anti-human-trafficking movement.
Aside from monetarily benefiting charities and causes, Cowart’s bold concept revitalises each guest’s stay by inspiring them with interesting artworks, thoughtful documentaries and access to a communal space where they can meet other visitors.
Even the foyer will be a place of purpose, with a well built by Charity Water sitting front and centre, highlighting their work in providing fresh, running water to more than six million people in 24 countries.
Every great project starts as a work in progress, and The Purpose Hotel is no different. A committed Christian, Cowart believes the words of Philippians chapter four, verse 14 that says, ‘I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me’.
After relaunching his crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter this month, he is asking the world to take this leap of faith with him and finance the hotel chain. Calling it ‘a hotel by the world for the world’, it is a plan so audacious that it might just work.
For more information on The Purpose Hotel and how you can repurpose your holidays, visit ThePurposeHotel.com.