Approaching maternity leave with her youngest daughter, Alexandra Nash began questioning their family’s day to day existence. Why should she and her husband spend eight hours a day away from their children? How could they expect their children to grow up looking at the world in a unique way if they live the same way as everyone else? And most importantly, how could they make a difference? All of this resulted in the beautiful journey of Yuhme, the world’s most eco-friendly water bottle.
By: Henriette Danielsen Photo: Michelle Chavez
Alex & Alex, the Gothenburg based couple figured they wanted something more out of life, while at the same time do good, so they decided to start their own business. Since they are both former athletes it came naturally that it had to be sports related, and what better than a water bottle?
– Water is the start of everything. Water is the first step out of poverty, it allows children to go to school, it allows parents to start farming and being able to provide, and most importantly clean water means we stay healthy and alive. Over 500 million people today still don’t have access to clean water. And a crazy fact is that if we used all the money we spend on buying bottled water we could end the entire water crisis, they explain.
Yuhme is about showing that you can start a company that does good for humanity without compromising the environment.
Having decided on producing a bottle, it was important to keep it environmentally friendly.
– Yuhme is about showing that you can start a company that does good for humanity without compromising the environment. Because there is no point to give with one hand, but contribute to another problem (global warming), with the other. And the name, Yuhme, is an acronym of You Us Humanity Me Environment, Alexandra says.
They set out on a journey looking for the right material, and when they came across a special type of plastic, not produced from oil but sugarcane, they knew it was the perfect fit.
– After researching the material thoroughly, we both realized that this was the only material we could make a bottle from, and even better after a lot of research and hard work we managed to start the production in Sweden.
What makes this particular bottle better than other eco-friendly bottles?
– I would say because it reduces C02 levels in its production. It is CO2 negative from cradle to gate, which means it actually takes CO2 out of the atmosphere. The bottle is also produced from sugarcane which is a renewable resource, unlike stainless steel, aluminum, glass and oil-based plastics, which other bottles are made from and are all produced from finite resources.
And for each of their handy and beautifully designed bottles sold, Yuhme provides six months of clean water to a person in the Central African Republic through Water for Good, an organization working to empower people with sustainable access to clean water.
– We work very closely with Water for Good and they are an amazingly transparent organization, so the figure of exactly six months comes from them crunching the numbers based on how much we donate. They work extremely hard on both maintenance and new digging, which is important as many new wells break down after a few years and no one knows how to fix them. They also train the local people so that they can do the work for themselves. And lastly all money donated goes directly to the cause. Administrative costs etc. are fundraised separately, they explain.
With their beautiful patterns, hand drawn by a Swedish artist, they sell not only a beautiful water bottle, they, together with their customers, give the best gift a person can give: clean water, while taking care of the environment.
How can we (the common man) contribute to reducing the impact of climate change?
– In making daily decisions that are thought through. Is it reasonable that something costs 30SEK for example? Do the research, just because someone says it is eco-friendly is it? Also, accept costs to a certain degree. We work a lot with new materials, and in order for them to get out there and reach mass production people need to use them, and in the beginning, they might not be the cheapest. Try to think of your consumption rate, recycle, be mindful of your food and travel choices.
Any tips on daily sustainable switches you can easily make?
– Stop using things that are made from oil. Don´t litter ever, especially not in the ocean. From my perspective, the problem is not so much what is in the ocean, but how it gets there. Always make mindful choices. And don’t waste water.
If you are interested in learning more about Yuhme, head over to their website or check out their Instagram account and the #betheyuhme. Alex and Alex will also be in Stockholm to talk about their mission on Saturday the 26th of August. Get your tickets today.