Recently I posted a review of the new stainless steel water bottles I purchased from FOF Bottles, and I wanted to learn more about the company. Co-owner Grant Marchand was gracious enough to answer a few questions about how he and his wife Lynn got started and why. Here is what they had to say.
Have you and your wife always been environmentally conscious?
Lynn is absolutely the environmental driving force behind not only FOF Bottles, but our family as well. She has always been environmentally conscience. Environmental conscience carries a lot of defining characteristics; from the food we eat to the water we drink to the items we buy.
Was there a defining moment?
The defining moment? Having children and discovering the horrible chemicals and contaminants in the world.
Where did you get the idea for FOF Bottles?
Again, Lynn was the driving force behind the idea for our FOF Stainless Steel Water Bottles. We all know the importance of the consumption of water, and people thoroughly believe they are doing the right thing when we drink bottled water. So did we, and we gave it to our kids too.
It was only after Lynn discovered the harmful chemicals in plastic that she realized we were potentially poisoning ourselves, as well as our kids. She then set upon finding appropriate stainless steel bottles for our children. It was at that moment that she discovered a distinct lack of bottles on the market with sleek and comfortable designs desirable for both little and big hands. Sleek, modern and functional.
Lynn has also been an active member of the fundraising committee at our local school and discovered that lack of original and environmentally friendly fundraisers available to schools and/or groups. This was another inspiration for the creation of FOF Bottles. For Our Future…. For Our Family… For Our Friends covers the many areas of concern today, and the future. We want our future to be bright and beautiful for our children, family and friends. We care for the future, our family and our friends and one place to start is healthy living. This was the genesis for the acronym “FOF”.
Your literature says your bottles are “made responsibly in China”, but exactly what does “made responsibly” mean?
From the beginning, our goal was to promote healthy living and a healthy planet by giving people an affordable alternative to plastic bottles. We also shared some of the concerns our customers have expressed about manufacturing in China. However, after much time and research into manufacturing options both in North America and abroad, we found that by making FOF Bottles in China we could provide a handcrafted product of exceptional quality at a reasonable price while ensuring the environmental and fair labour standards we require.
Our manufacturing facility takes significant efforts to ensure a safe working environment and that the staff are treated and paid fairly. The facility itself is inspected every 3-4 months by a third party company. They also have strict control over the source of materials to ensure they are all BPA free. A separate third party laboratory also certifies all material as BPA free.
We’ve also taken steps to reduce the environmental impact of the packaging and shipping of our FOF Bottles. All FOF Bottle packaging, from the tags in and on the bottles to the boxes and other materials we use to ship our products, is recycled from post-consumer waste or biodegradable material.
Since our top FOF Bottle goal is to try and change people’s culture towards using plastic bottles, we need to make it economical. Trying to balance that with keeping the business “at home” means, for us, that EVERYTHING else is done from here - our graphic design team, the printing company we use, the shipping, the website, etc. is all from Canada or the U.S. Only the bottle itself is carefully and responsibly manufactured at our facilities overseas.
What are your goals for FOF?
We have a single goal; to provide the highest quality stainless steel water bottles that are easy to hold, good for the planet, promote healthy living and are affordable for families.
We want to instill healthy practices now so that we can live healthy lives in the future. So, whether it is providing FOF Bottles by fundraisers or direct sales, we know that we are making a difference in the lives of those individuals. If children and young adults use FOF Bottles today, we know they will use them in the future. Using stainless steel water bottles should eventually become the norm in tomorrow’s society.
Using single use plastic bottles has become a prevalent norm in today’s society. In the United States alone, about 100 million bottles a day go into the trash or become litter where these bottles could take up to 700 years before they even begin to decompose.
Because plastic will take centuries to decompose, every bit of plastic ever created still exists today. Think about that for a moment; every piece of plastic – from the time plastic was first “created” – still exists today. It is slowly suffocating our planet.
We’d like to do everything we can to bring awareness to this major environmental crisis. We want to try to help by changing people’s reliance on single-use plastic bottles and cultural acceptance of it by making the world a little brighter … 1 FOF Bottle at a time.