Memobottle was born from two major societal frustrations that founders Jesse Leeworthy and Jonathan Byrt decided they had to do something about. Firstly, the single-use water bottle epidemic: 525 billion single-use bottles were purchased and consumed last year (1 million every single minute), despite 91% of the global population having access to clean drinking water; not only is this environmentally disastrous, but costs 1,400 times more than tap water. Both memobottle founders grew up in a coastal town just south of Melbourne, Australia. They were raised in an environmentally conscious community, and encouraged to reuse and recycle. Secondly, Leeworthy and Byrt were tired of the inability to fit cylindrical bottles into bags. They found that they were always carrying laptop bags, satchels or backpacks to university/work and either had a big bulge in their bags from the bottle, or had to leave the bottle at home and buy a single-use bottle during the day.
In order to overcome these frustrations, the founders realised that they needed to create an alternative that was more convenient, practical, and sustainable in design. It had to inspire people to move away from the single-use culture. An inspired and challenging journey began, initially most of the work being done at night while they still held day jobs. In a relatively short time the memobottle was born – a slim, reusable water bottle designed to fit in your bag. Leeworthy, a Product Design Engineer, realised that the shape of the conventional reusable water bottles was somewhat of an inconvenience, so he designed memobottle to be flat and in the shape of the international paper sizes – A5, A6, A7. “We had a brainstorm about the items that we carry in our bags and realised most of them are flat in shape. It didn’t make sense for our water bottles to be cylindrical”.
“Somewhere along the line, society became fixated on designing cylindrical shaped bottles. Rather than making a product that conforms to the status quo, we decided to create something that is easy to transport but still holds the functional aspects of traditional bottles”. The memobottle was born; a reusable bottle that is optimized for travel and convenience, allowing it to slide perfectly into bags, clutches and pockets. Memobottle also offers a range of premium accessories including leather sleeves, leather lanyards and metallic lids. These accessories are designed to encourage customers to personalize their memobottle, which in doing so prolongs the life of the product. Memobottle was launched on popular Crowd-funding platform, Kickstarter, in late 2014. The memobottle, and the message behind the brand struck a chord, surpassing the $15,000 funding goal within 36 hours, and raising over $261,000 in the 45-day campaign.
Memobottle is now shipped to over 80 countries and stocked in over 2,000 stores globally. The A5 memobottle was included in the 2015 Oscars gift bags (awarded to all major category Oscar nominees), has been endorsed by celebrities such as Anne Hathaway, and has won a number of prestigious International Design Awards. Memobottle has created an incredibly successful partnership with US Not-for-Profit, water.org allowing them to contribute two months’ of clean water to those in need for every memobottle purchased. Memobottle is also a certified B-Corporation with ethical and environmental consciousness at the forefront of everything that they do (read more about B-Corporation here).
“We are the first generation to feel the full effects of man-made climate change, and maybe the last generation that can do something about it. Our challenge as a company, and as a society, is to create alternatives that are more sustainable, and more convenient. We’ve learned that convenience is unfortunately often the cause of much environmental and social degradation”, says Byrt. To date, memobottle have been able to provide over 3 million days of clean water to those in need through their water.org partnership, and estimate that they have been able to prevent the purchase of over 50 million single-use bottles through the sale of memobottle products.