For the first eco-designed boat for Zodiac, the company partnered with Dehondt – Flax Technic and Fimalin, both based in France, to create the newest boat in the fleet. While Zodiac has been using composite materials for this type of boat for a long time, the AirEthic’s composite hull was manufactured using the RTM process with flax-fiber reinforcement to reduce the hull’s environmental footprint.

According to the team, not only do composites give the boats the desired strength-to-weight ratio, but utilizing flax (a biosourced plant fiber) reduces the environmental impact of the composites used by the team. The company says this is an important factor moving forward as consumers’ growing concerns about environmental impacts increasingly weigh in their purchasing decision. This principle, they say, could apply to most of Zodiac’s composite parts in the future.

Cykno bike
Selling Point: Vintage meets new age technology

cykno-carbon-and-leather-electric-bike_1-webIf you are traveling in Italy keep your eyes open: You just may see a James Bond or Braveheart lookalike riding around on a vintage-looking electric Cykno bike – all part of the company’s ad campaign. The Cykno debuted at Milan’s Design week in May to rave revues. The brainchild of engineer Bruno Greppi, the bike blends Victorian style with a sci-fi spirit through hand-trimmed leather and extensive use of carbon fiber.

The Cykno is composed of a monocoque frame, radial spokes wheels and front fork made in carbon fiber and stainless steel pipes. It has a centrally-mounted motor on a carbon cradle and radial brake master cylinders with carbon fiber levers. The bike contains an inside-the-frame 250W or 500W battery, which powers the peddler for 37 miles before it needs a recharge.

The 57-pound Cykno was created to meet the needs for mobility as it maintains a low environmental impact. According to the website, the Cykno will be “made to order” online worldwide and delivered within a few weeks. Each custumer can customize the leather upholstery and accessories for a truly old-meets-new experience.

Fliz bike
Selling Point: Paragliding for city living

FileHandler-webDesigned by German-based engineers Tom Hambrock and Juri Spetter, the Fliz has no pedals and no seat. Instead, riders hang in a harness suspended from the bike frame that goes over their shoulders and push themselves forward. Winner of a Merit Award at the Taipei International Cycle Show and currently in the running for the prestigious James Dyson Award, the concept is that as riders build up momentum, they can place their feet on special treads near the rear wheel to cruise along.

The engineering team says they created the Fliz as a velocipede based on the first bike – the “Laufrad” – as a way to promote healthy, ecological mobility in overcrowded urban spaces. The FRP and carbon fiber laminate frame integrates the rider and works like a suspension while the harness, which is custom-built for each rider, adjusts their position and has a five-point fastener for a quick and easy release.