Swell1

Design for Good

S'well: A Better Reusable Water Bottle?

In the fight to reduce the estimated 50 billion plastic bottles consumed in the US every year, not all reusable bottles are created equal. Newcomer S'well promises a dramatic upgrade on a number of specs, from design to advanced insulation. The sleek stainless steel bottle preserves beverage temperature significantly longer than standard reusable bottles and offers a pleasantly ergonomic.

The only design downside: S'well lacks any hook or loop on the bottle's cap, which those of us who live and die by our reusable bottles have come to appreciate as a necessary component of portability.

In a partnership with WaterAid, a global nonprofit that for the past 30 years has been working to provide clean drinking water to the world's poorest communities, S'well donates 10% of proceeds from every sale – double the standard 5% charitable contribution similar arrangements tend to offer, though not a leap of the imagination given the $40 price tag – to programs improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the developing world.

Among S'well's winning points is their Twitter stream – a well-curated feed of environmental news and resources, a far cry from the usual navel-gazing PR deluge most startups push into Twitter.

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.

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