24Bottles is an Italian design brand created in 2013 with the mission to reduce the impact disposable, plastic bottles have on our planet. Co-founders Matteo Melotti and Giovanni Randazzo created a stylish range of BPA-free, lightweight stainless steel bottles that wouldn’t look out of place at any Fashion Week event around the world! We caught up with co-founder Matteo to chat about the eco-friendly journey they have been on so far, and how 24Bottles is helping change the way we drink.
Who is behind the 24Bottles brand and what inspired you to create an alternative to disposable plastic bottles?
Well, 24Bottles started in 2013 as an attempt to fulfil our human potential. We (Giovanni and I) met as we were working for the same bank. It was a good job, steady, regular, but we felt we were missing something at that point in our lives. So I started to look for a plan-B, something more creative that can be useful for the people and the planet. The inspiration came that same summer – it was super hot, and we both witnessed with disgust the bins of the office being filled up with disposable plastic bottles and cups. That’s where the idea first came from, and we wanted to find an alternative. Then we started to figure out how to efficiently create a business from this, so we conducted research about the functional qualities a reusable bottle should have and the right materials. Then through good luck, we met our designer, Luca D’Ambrosio. He polished up the idea of the reusable stainless steel bottle with his knowledge and exquisite taste.
Your bottles are all created with ‘lightness’ as a theme, how do you interpret this across the brand?
Well, firstly lightness means low weight, and that is the prerogative of all our designs. As we produce accessories that accompany your everyday life, it is necessary they are comfortable and easy to carry, so it means no overweight items in your bag. Then it has a deeper meaning, connected to the problem of the careless abuse of disposable products that burdens the planet with legal or illegal landfills. In this respect, lightness means to unburden the Earth from unnecessary plastic waste. We are not against plastic tout-court, we think that it’s been a revolutionary material and has its purpose and practicality when in use. However, we cannot un-see the impact it has on our health and that of the planet, therefore people must use it wisely.
In regard of personal hydration, we think plastic is unnecessarily too present in our lives, and that has to change for our own good and that of the future generation. We can be more conscientious about this theme.
What makes 24Bottles different to other re-usable bottle brands?
Didn’t mean to be repetitive, but, well, the very first thing that one notices with the bottle in hand, is its lightness. It’s comfortable to carry, easy to drink from and very stylish. You can match it with your outfit or your mood, and it will serve you well throughout the day.
Can your Thermo and collection bottles be used for all beverages?
Yes, they can. We applied the 18/8 stainless steel to make sure all bottles and cups were perfectly safe as the same material that is widely used for other kitchen accessories. It can contain any liquid, acidic and sparkling, hot or cold without changing its state and remain non-reactive. Also, it doesn’t release any substance in the beverage, even after years of use, and this is the main difference between our bottles and aluminium or plastic ones.
-0,08 is printed on the bottles, what does this mean?
It underlines our care for sustainability. It is the quantity of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere for the production of a single-use plastic bottle. Therefore we state that every time you refill an Urban Bottle instead of buying water in a disposable plastic bottle, the world has spared that quantity of CO2 from being released. We have recently estimated that in 2016 something like 4,000,000 kg of CO2 was spared by 24Bottles users all around the world. And we’re sure that number will increase this year.
How long do you expect the bottles to last if someone is taking good care of it?
Well, I’ve been using mine since 2014 so that’s three years and it’s still going strong. It has some bumps but the cap is still working well, and I am quite fond of it. Obviously, I own and use several more, but that is my original one.
Where do you find inspiration for the collection designs?
It is Luca, our designer, who makes proposals about new colours and collections. Then all together we evaluate which could be good for the present season, which can be sidelined for the following one, which one is not in line with our aesthetic vision, etc. The next special collection will be released this spring, and I can disclose it is funny and very colourful with a retro flavour as in the 80s!
You’ve created a sustainable alternative to plastic waste, do 24Bottles give back in any other way?
Yes, we do, and it is a pleasure for us to support organisations that work for the good of the planet. Last year we partnered with 1% for the Planet and promised to give 1% of our revenues to selected groups and associations. In September 2016 we partnered with ReteClima, who help us offset our carbon footprint through international reforestation projects. Now we can claim that the Urban Bottle has net-zero carbon footprints.