Access to clean water, for the one billion people who don’t have it, requires great design through engineering and strategic planning. It takes proper systems, plans, and training to make water safe and available across the world.
One company is tackling this issue head on. At Designed Good, we fell in love with MiiR because of their water bottle made with an anti-spill opening, curved edges to prevent bacteria build-up, stainless steel that is BPA free, and an innovative lock-top that keeps bacteria out. But it doesn’t just take a well-designed water bottle to bring clean, safe drinking water to people.
We talked to MiiR founder Bryan Pape about what it means to design for social change. MiiR has found a way to connect his passion for product design with what’s needed to tackle water availability around the world. They realize that water access is a complex problem: “The biggest challenge is, it’s hard.” Pape said. “There’s so much need that it’s overwhelming.”
Water projects are deceptively complex. People need wells for clean water, but one must also ensure that remote communities have ways to repair their wells and water lines. Training people about their water systems remains a cornerstone of the project.
To make their goals achievable, MiiR narrowed their call to action to something simple and concrete. One dollar of every water bottle purchased provides one person with clean water for a year. It’s a number based on careful research, and it's backed up by the nine water projects that MiiR has funded by partnering with Charity: Water and One Day’s Wages.
From the very beginning, MiiR wasn’t building a brand around admonishing people for buying plastic bottled Evian. “It’s not compelling to tell someone not to do something but then to buy your product,” Pape said.
Pape’s exclusive water bottle design was created in 2009. It looked different from any other bottle on the market, and it was an opportunity to build a company and a brand that could connect consumers with one of the most important humanitarian issues. Through their initiative one4one, MiiR has raised $70,000 to fund nine water projects across Southeast Asia and Africa.
Rather than choosing one product to donate in bulk to these regions, MiiR wanted to support projects for sustainable development—a more transparent way to make a difference because it requires you to keep checking in on the projects you implement. Beginning this winter, MiiR will register every single bottle they sell so that customers can log onto their website and track exactly where their dollar goes.
MiiR water bottles are featured on Designed Good through Monday, November 5.