year in review
These are Houston's top lifestyle tech and innovation articles of 2022
Editor's note: As 2022 comes to a close, InnovationMap is looking back at the year's top stories in Houston innovation. When it came to the lifestyle innovation — whether it's fit tech companies or space bartenders — in Houston, five stories trended among readers. Be sure to click through to read the full story.
A Houston innovator found second-hand shopping time consuming. So, she designed a better experience. Image courtesy of Trendy Seconds
When the coronavirus pandemic started in 2020, people found themselves at home with a surplus of free time. Puzzles covered dining room tables, remnants of new hobbies were strewn across dens, TikTok dances were rehearsed, and television was binged. Maria Burgos found herself watching Netflix’s “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” which inspired her to clean out her closet. In practicing Kondo’s dogma of parting with items that don’t “spark joy,” Burgos uncovered a bigger issue to purge: America’s unsustainable fashion industry.
With piles of clothing ready for a new home, Burgos searched for reliable organizations to donate her possessions. Her research led her to learn more about the negative impact the fashion industry has on the environment.
According to Slate, almost 24 billion pounds of clothes and shoes are thrown out each year — more than double what we tossed two decades ago. Americans consume more than 20 billion garments each year, and each garment can be expected to be worn around seven times, according to The Wall Street Journal. We’re buying more clothing than ever when clothing is at its lowest cost. Read more.
Surf's up soon for Houstonians thanks to this new innovative development. Rendering courtesy of Beach Street Development
Thanks to its relative proximity to the coast, Houston has always enjoyed an underground surf culture (be it shortboarding, longboarding, or even tanker surfing). Now, those who walk the nose and shred can at a new, world-class surf destination coming to Generation Park in north Houston.
HTX Surf will ride into Generation Park in fall of 2024, per an announcement by creators Beach Street Development, the company pushes the barefoot life with its man-made surfing lagoons.
Why the north Houston locale, versus closer to Galveston? Beach Street notes in press materials that the lagoon park is a mere 10 minutes from Bush Intercontinental Airport, making for easy access for visitors from all over. Read more.
Hampr Lite will give Houstonians a taste of what it's laundry service is like. Image courtesy of Hampr
As Laurel Hess sat on a video call with a board member for her startup laundry service, a pile of laundry was peeking behind her.
“How can you have clothes piling up while owning a laundry business?” they asked.
Hess coolly replied, “Because laundry just doesn’t stop. It’s literally always there.”
Hampr is a hyper-local laundry and pick-up service that is connected and operated through an online app. The Lafayette-based company, which identified Houston as an early test market, links people who are in need of pick-up and wash laundry services with people in the local communities who are seeking work without leaving home. Read more.
HOW water comes to you via subscription. Photo by Alex Montoya
Houstonians who are picky about their bottled water but also environmentally minded now have a refreshing local option — one that even comes to them.
A new, “hyperpure” oxygen-enriched water brand has rolled out in Houston in single-serve and subscription options. Dubbed HOW — Hyperpure Oxygenated Water — the award-winning super-filtered water (via a 14-level filtration process that removes impurities down to the nano-level .0001 microns) is now available at 35 specialty retailers around town. Read more.
The Hos are back for Season 2 after inking a big deal with Realty.com. Photo by Elizabeth Morris/HBO Max
Houston power fam The Hos are once again back in the house. The docu-reality series stars of House of Ho returned to streaming network HBO Max for a 10-episode second season this week.
Season 2 kicks off with three episodes, with three new episodes to follow on September 1, and the final four episodes debuting September 8, according to HBO.
As fans recall, Season 1 introduced the nation to patriarch Binh and matriarch Hue, who went from Vietnamese immigrants to building a multi-million dollar real estate and banking empire. The Season 1 cast included the Hos’ son Washington and his wife Lesley; their daughter Judy and her fiancé Nate Nguyễn; and Aunt Tina; and Cousin Sammy, who has become an influencer with a propensity for ending posts with “b*tches.”
Aside from flashing their opulent lifestyle and navigating cultural clashes, the Hos are still wheeling and dealing. The Houstonians have inked an exclusive deal with Realty.com to “deliver world-class service to clients in the Houston area,” according to a Realty.com announcement. Read more.