When Tal Soltz set out to design a reusable water bottle, dissatisfied with the clunky and chunky options on the market, she refused to compromise aesthetics to be environmentally friendly. "We created bkr [pronounced "beaker"] with the inspiration of everything we love in life: modern art, designs we saw in Tokyo, Italian furniture, Parisian street chic, etc." says Soltz. "Most of all, though, because we believe green products should be creative, beautiful and inspirational." Each bkr holds 16 ounces of liquid in a rather comely and compact glass bottle sheathed in a silicone sleeve. I like that the design isn't over designed; its simply a screw top bottle with a handy carrying loop, free of extra bells and whistles. And the five colors the bottle comes in are quite alluring as well. We asked Soltz, who is President and Founder of the San Francisco-based company, a few questions about bkr. Here's what she has to say.
How did the idea for bkr come about?
Years ago, I was a bottled water addict and one of my health-conscious, eco-savvy friends showed me an article in a health journal that explained the dangers of plastics leaching cancer-causing chemicals and synthetic estrogen into our water. Around then, I also became acutely aware of the wastefulness of disposable plastics, and the terrible environmental and social impact of bottled water.
I started drinking out of a basic glass at home, but frankly, I missed my little, clear water bottles with their small mouths, pretty branding and their easy twist caps. The reusable bottles on the market were not designed for me—I don’t fancy the taste of metal; I don’t like loud, heavy, unedited designs. Many reusable bottles are still plastic and I don’t want to find out ten years from now that those aren’t safe either. I realized the best way to break one habit was to develop another. And it was clear the only way that would happen was if there was a water bottle that married the motivation to effect change with meaningful, thoughtful, and beautiful design.
Can you talk a little bit about the design?
We made it from glass because we think it's a green and clean material—it doesn't smell of every drink you ever put in it or leach chemicals, and it isn't a metal camping accessory. We wanted not only a solution to an over-packaged, plastic, disposable world, but to take a stand against it as well. So bkr—our soft, round, small, modern and well-designed permanent water bottle—was born.
What makes bkr different from all the other water bottles on the (somewhat saturated) market?
To quote Dostoevsky, “Beauty will save the world.” People will be willing to change their cultural values and habits for beautiful design. We created something artistic and functional so that design-minded people have an option that's aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly.
How did you become involved in product design? Have you designed anything else?
bkr is the first product I’ve ever envisioned and designed. I paint, but just for my own personal enjoyment and love of modern art. My appreciation of beautiful design has always been a part of my life—from fashion and branding to modern home design. bkr is inspired by all of those things.
You mentioned that a portion of sales will help combat the global water crisis. What programs will you be donating to?
We are committed to effecting change in this world and are in discussions with organizations that share our convictions, such as Engineers Without Borders.
Where will people be able to purchase these?
You can buy then now at mybkr.com [use the promo code 824342] and at our retail partner locations listed here. The suggested retail price is $28.