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How to get away from it all; care for environment

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SHIGERU Ban is a Pritzker Prize-winning architect well known for his humanitarian work in building disaster relief shelters with the innovative use of cardboard tubes. Now, he has put his design spin on a unique "social hospitality" concept in Karuizawa, a mountain region in Japan's Nagano prefecture that is a popular summer getaway for Tokyo-ites. In Friday's issue of BT's Weekend magazine, we escape from the crushing heat to the cool sanctuary of Shishi-Iwa House - a 10-room boutique hotel surrounded by nature and tranquility. Developed as a social enterprise project, its owners want it to be a place for guests to destress, engage with nature, art and one another, with communal facilities to make it more conducive for socialising. And besides Karuizawa, we also look at other designer-focused hotel getaways for your next Japanese holiday.

On the home front, we speak to Claire Chiang of the Banyan Tree hospitality group, and find out how conservation has been a part of her life long before it became fashionable. From re-using discarded pencil stubs to spending US$200 million to redevelop an abandoned tin mine in Phuket, she shares her thoughts about taking care of the environment and the animals we share it with.

For the sartorially-conscious, September and fashion season is in full swing. Check out our Fall/Winter 2019 special report on all the latest trends and must-haves for your wardrobe. Hint: the end is near for ugly Dad sneakers. Instead, whether you're a maximalist or minimalist, the key words are elegance, sophistication and grown-up. Find out what the top fashion houses are showcasing, and how you can adapt them to everyday wear.

And for the houseproud, we take a look at how one couple has turned their city apartment into a tranquil garden oasis with the strategic use of plants and art.

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