Could you tell us about how your idea to develop a plant-based water bottle came about, and your journey as a business?
It’s no secret, the reusable water bottle market is extremely saturated, perhaps one of the most oversaturated markets there is, and besides design there is very little variation in product offerings.
Consumers only have three choices: plastic, steel & glass, all of which have their downsides, from leaching chemicals from plastic, to high energy intensive manufacturing processes, consumers have been limited in choice. We wanted to create a truly sustainable water bottle that offsets more carbon than it creates, with circularity and practicality in mind. That’s why we created the S’wheat Bottle, made from sustainable plant-based materials.
In particular, what prompted the use of wheat straw as a core ingredient for the bottle?
We went through a lengthy development process trying all sorts of crazy plant materials. We decided to go with wheat straw as it's naturally antibacterial and is also a by-product in the UK which fits perfectly with our sustainability credentials and circular supply chain.
A huge congratulations on winning the Net Zero EDGE award, what kind of impact has winning the award had on your business?
It was a great experience being part of the Scottish EDGE competition and we’re incredibly grateful to have been awarded a top prize award. Besides the amazing exposure from the competition, the award is going to really help support us with our plans for this year.
There are clear environmental incentives to using an eco-friendly water bottle, could you tell us a little bit about this?
Single-use plastics are one of the largest pollutants there is, and it isn't just affecting the oceans, it's affecting humans directly. When plastics end up in landfills, they aren’t harmless. They break down into tiny toxic particles that contaminate soil and waterways and ultimately enter our food chain when animals accidentally ingest them.
So swapping to a reusable water bottle is extremely important, but why an eco-friendly bottle? Producing plastic, steel & glass bottles requires a significant amount of energy, including the extraction and processing of raw materials, transportation, and manufacturing. Some steel bottles can take up to as much as 17kg of carbon to create just one bottle! So having both a long-lasting and truly sustainable carbon neutral bottle is extremely importantly.
For example, how does it reduce your carbon footprint, and what effect does it have on plastic consumption?
In terms of plastic consumption, using a reusable bottle can have a significant impact. Each year, millions of plastic bottles are produced and sold, and many of them end up in landfills or the ocean. By using a reusable bottle, you eliminate the need for purchasing and disposing of single-use plastic bottles. This reduces the amount of plastic waste generated and helps to mitigate the negative impact of plastic on the environment. By making the switch to a reusable bottle, you can make a positive contribution to sustainability efforts and help protect the environment for future generations.
Reusable water bottles are growing significantly in both usage and popularity, what separates the S’wheat bottle from other brands?
At S’wheat Bottle we pride ourselves on creating a truly sustainable and circular reusable bottle. Our bottles are made from naturally grown plant-based materials, and, as a certified social enterprise, with every purchase we plant a trackable tree in areas where deforestation is worst - you can even monitor the growth of your tree over its lifetime and see exactly where we’ve planted it.
It is evident that environmental consciousness is at the heart of your business – what more could be done by businesses to promote sustainable practices?
Businesses can implement sustainable practices throughout their operations, such as reducing energy and water consumption, using eco-friendly packaging, and implementing a waste management system that prioritises recycling and composting.
I also believe that businesses can do a better job in educating their employees and customers about the importance of sustainability and encouraging them to adopt sustainable practices.
You have had an incredible amount of success over the last few years, do you have any advice for aspiring start-ups?
Don't be afraid to make mistakes, get out of your comfort zone and don’t give up, staying consistent is key.
What you can offer businesses who are interested?
We offer co-branding to businesses where they can have their logo added to the S’wheat bottle, and with every bottle purchased we plant an equal number of trackable trees in their business' name. This works great for engaging employees, clients gifts or for eco-friendly event handouts.
Looking ahead, what does the future have in store for S’wheat?
We have really big plans for this year and we’re really excited to announce what’s to come! But for now, its top secret.
Finally, as the year moves towards the warmer months, what summery drink will we find you drinking out of your S’wheat bottle?
I'm very excited for the summer, being based in Scotland you really do miss the sunshine this time of year. Lately I’ve been obsessed with juicing all sorts of fruits and vegetables, so you’ll definitely find me with some sort of fruit concoction in my S’wheat Bottle!