- The collaboration between S’well and New Chapter marks the first time the eco-friendly water bottle brand has designed a new product with a partner.
- New Chapter’s vitamin cases support both companies’ missions around sustainability.
- The global reusable market water bottle market was valued at $61.74 billion in 2020.
A new partnership between like-minded companies has expanded the opportunities for S’well, maker of reusable water bottles.
The brand, which also makes other sustainable food containers in addition to its stylish steel water bottles, has for the first time created a product in partnership with another company. The new seven-day vitamin cases, which are co-branded with vitamin and supplement maker New Chapter, seek to bring the same ethos around sustainability to the pill-holder category that S’well brings to its other products, while potentially uncorking new revenue streams.
S’well’s partnership with New Chapter, which comes as consumers increasingly vote with their dollars for sustainable brands, could also provide a template for future collaborations, Sarah Kauss, founder of S’well, told CO—.
“We’re in conversations with a number of global brands right now, and have some collaborations in the works,” she said. “We’re able to make this partnership with New Chapter a bit of a case study to show how things can come to life for other brands.”
In addition to selling products directly to consumers through its website, S’well has also had success in the past marketing its products to major corporations, such as the Walt Disney Co. These companies generally buy existing S’well products and add their own logos as corporate gifts, for example. The New Chapter collaboration marks the first time S’well has created a new product specifically for a corporate partner, however, and also the first time its products have been made available for sale on the partner’s website.
As part of the certified B corp. community, ‘we had a shared language’
The S’well-New Chapter collaboration came together quickly, Kauss said, in part because both companies were certified B corporations, indicating that their policies and activities meet rigorous standards of environmental and social responsibility concerning their workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment. Currently some 3,790 companies across 150 industries are certified B corporations.
“Being a part of the B corp community, we had a shared language,” said Kauss.
Kauss founded S’well with the mission to reduce plastic waste, and she estimates that the company’s reusable water bottles have already removed four billion single-use plastic bottles from the waste stream in the 10 years since she launched the company.
The growing market for reusable water bottles has been driven in part by increasing consumer concern over the environmental impact of single-use plastics. According to earthday.org, Americans purchase about 50 billion single-use plastic water bottles per year.
The reusable water bottle market was valued at $61.74 billion globally in 2020, and is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 4% from 2021 to 2028, according to a Grand View Research report.
“The growth of the market is attributed to an increase in demand for convenience products, rising threats to the environment from non-decomposable waste bottles, and rising inclination of people towards a healthy lifestyle,” the report stated.
In addition to S’well, other players in the reusable water bottle market include Camelbak Products, Brita, Klean Kanteen, Tupperware Brands Corp., Aquasana and Thermos.
S’well’s partnership with New Chapter, which comes as consumers increasingly vote with their dollars for sustainable brands, could also provide a template for future collaborations.
Sarah Kauss, founder, S’well
Meeting both style and sustainability standards
S’well worked with one of its existing manufacturing partners to make the new vitamin cases, which were designed by S’well’s team of designers and engineers. The new cases are made of stainless steel, with a seven-day divider insert that can hold up to eight vitamins per day, and a lid that also acts as a tray. It is available in three of S’well’s top-selling styles: Teakwood, Blonde Wood and Purple Garnet.
S’well products are known for attractive design, with water bottles available in such styles as Azurite Marble, Blue Granite and Pink Topaz.
The new vitamin cases not only meet S’well’s high aesthetic standards, but they also align with the company’s mission to reduce plastic waste. A customer survey by New Chapter found that many users were carrying vitamins and supplements with them in single-use plastic bags. New Chapter estimated that the new branded dispensers could eliminate nearly 500,000 plastic bags from the waste stream in the first year.
Blaine Streisand, president of New Chapter, said he reached out to S’well specifically because of the companies’ shared interest in sustainability.
“Pill cases are one of the best tools to improve regimens for avid supplement users, yet there are very few out there designed with sustainability in mind,” he said. “As like-minded companies, we are looking to make change in the world both ethically and sustainably—and with this vitamin case, we are seeking to help consumers build healthy habits.”
Streisand said consumers have expressed strong interest in the new vitamin case and noted that it has been one of the company’s best performing items in the early days of its launch.
Both companies said the partnership could lead to additional joint efforts between S’well and New Chapter.
“We have fully enjoyed this collaboration with S’well,” said Streisand. “Our teams are like-minded, and our visions are very much in sync. If there are opportunities that present themselves, we are very open to exploring what could be.”
Kauss said the fact that S’well was able to launch the new product during the pandemic, within eight months of receiving the first email from Streisand, demonstrates that her company has flexibility and determination. These capabilities will serve the company well going forward as it seeks to create new partnerships, she said.
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Published February 24, 2021