I first heard of Fill Your Own water bottles at this winter’s Children’s Trunk Show. I was instantly enchanted by the thoughtfulness of the bottles’ functionality and the cute designs. Inventor, managing director and mom Annette Yang has put a lot of thought into the functionality of the bottle – and it shows.
“Fill Your Own offers stylish stainless steel water bottles that are fun, functional and carbon neutral making it easier to take a step towards greener everyday living,” says Annette, who was inspired by her husband’s birthday request to become a greener household and getting reusable and refillable water bottles. “That started the search for the right bottle to suit all our family needs – kids and adults alike,” recalls Annette who previously worked in a government job before launching Fill Your Own. However, her search turned up empty as she discovered that there wasn’t anything on the market that met their needs. “So we developed and designed our own bottles.”
The Vancouver-based company offers stainless steel water bottles that feature artwork designed by local artists. But the bottle isn’t just a pretty and stylish container. I particularly appreciated the wide mouth opening, making the bottles easy to clean as well as insert ice cubes. The size of the bottle makes it easy for small hands to handle, as well as fit various cup holders. And unlike other bottles, the cap is particularly intuitive. My toddler was able to open and close the flip top easily – which instantly sold me on the bottle.
There are also bottles to suit any taste. Available in four sizes, Fill Your Own also offers three different caps for different activities – the popular a flip top straw cap, a sports spout and a twist cap with carabiner. The caps, which can be purchased separately as spares or replacements, are made of polypropylene (PP5) and are interchangeable. Made with food quality stainless steel, the bottles are completely reusable and recyclable. “We independently test our bottles,” assures Annette, who has tested for heavy metal leaching and has ensured that the bottles meet drinking water guidelines set by Health Canada. “The caps are tested for BPA and six phthalates – none were found.”
While the bottles themselves were inspired by a vision for greener living, Annette didn’t stop there.
Says Annette: “Our bottles are carbon neutral, meaning we offset the making of the stainless steel, the manufacturing of the bottle, and end-to-end shipping (from our manufacturer to us, us to our retailers and our retailers to our end consumers) with gold standard carbon credits for a zero carbon footprint.” As members of 1% of the Planet, Fill Your Own also donates 10% of its annual revenues to an environmental cause. The company also uses only post-consumer fiber paper for its boxes, printing and stationary needs and in addition to supporting local artists, uses local suppliers for everything, with the exception of the manufacturing of their bottles, since there is currently no option to get stainless steel water bottles made in North America.
The bottles retail for $20-$29 each and the caps can be purchased separately for $3-5 each. Check out their recently launched 2010 collection.
Fill Your Own
Available at the following retailers in Metro Vancouver:
- Artizen Framing & Gifts (Abbotsford)
- Chirps Children’s Store (9040 Blundell Rd, Richmond)
- Diva Fitness & Pilates Studios (South Surrey)
- Dream Designs (Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver)
- Frog’s Hollow (Langley)
- Hip Baby (West 4th, Vancouver)
- Hollyburn Country Club (West Vancouver)
- Kiddo (Main Street, Vancouver)
- Little Treasures (Kid’s Market-Granville Island)
- Maple Ridge Vitamins Centre (Maple Ridge)
- Mountain Magic (South Surrey)
- Room For 2 Maternity & Baby (Vancouver)
- Roots Natural Organic Foods (Maple Ridge)
- SFU Bookstore (Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey)
- The Clothes Encounter (Steveston Village-Richmond)
- The Outpost – AMS/UBC (Vancouver)
- Under the Moon (Port Coquitlam)
- Vancouver eFasteners (Vancouver)