“ Brand: Orla Kiely / Product Type: Bottle „
These bottles are fantastic for taking on a days adventure! Useful for the gym, the park, a day trip, work or just to have handy in the car for when you have a thirst. They don't leak, hold a decent amount of liquid and come in a variety of fantastic designs. The screw cap is very sturdy and tightly screws on, meaning you can pop in your bag and not worry about a leak, something I have not found to be the case with other, similar drink containers. The bottle is also light weight which is a bonus, as when filled up with liquid, it doesn't weigh your bag down. They wash well, and I have dishwashed mine extensively with no damage to the print. The Orla Kiely design in particular is most eye catching. The stem print version comes in two colours, the olive and the pink. They come with a rubber clip which is handy to attach to a bag, a pushchair or a gym machine. I found mine in tk maxx where they had a range of them for just £3.99 which is a bargain on the RRP.
When I read about the Wottle on this very site, I wanted one. Call me shallow but I will admit that the main attraction was the Orla Kiely connection - I love her designs. The Wottle is, after all, nothing much more than a printed water bottle, but having bought one I'm really pleased I saw it here and it's been my constant handbag companion since I bought it a few months ago.
The Wottle, which I bought for £4.99 from Robert Dyas (it's £7 or more elsewhere) is a 500ml container, what you can't tell from the picture is that it is a slightly flattened bottle. It's a joint Kiely-Brita water filter project, designed to cut down waste from one use only bottles. I don't have a Brita water filter but do have access to filtered water from my fridge and have found since owning and cherishing this I have been less likely to buy water when out and about. You could of course fill it straight from the tap!
There's nothing fancy (bar the lovely typical Kiely print), about this bottle. It has a screw top, and nice wide opening for easy filling and a rubbery carry handle which can be attached two ways, either as in the picture or looped over the lid. The flattened design means it fits nicely in bags, more importantly to me it has never ever leaked (having two children I've had more than my fair share of water bottle leaks in handbag disasters), and it's pretty easy to drink from. Personally I don't really like those sport bottle tops which always remind me of a baby's bottle - nothing that fancy here.
It's good to know that the plastic is made from recycled and recyclable plastic, and this item was made in the UK - how refreshing is that?! It's made of HDPE, which is apparently a safer kind of plastic for water bottles, and is dishwasher safe.
Like I said since I bought mine I've been using it constantly. I find that there's no funny plastic taste to the water I drink from it, and that bar a few scratches on the printed design it has worn well. It's indispensable on hot Summer days when I fill it up with ice and water I find the water stays chilled for quite a long time as the plastic it is made of is quite thick. I'm not sure quite how necessary the plastic carry handle is to the overall design but bar this I'm pretty pleased with my dooyoo-inspired purchase.
Yes this is "just" a bottle, and you could undoubtedly buy a cheaper one and use it in just the same way, but this little bit of plastic is a little bit of designer plastic, and I personally love it. Sometimes it's nice to buy things that you just "want" rather than "need", and this bottle started out in this category but has proved to be a simple way of upping my water intake and reducing the amount of plastic I waste in one fell swoop. For that reason I totally recommend this wottle, silly name and simpleness notwithstanding, it's just a great little piece of design.
~*~* So what is a Wottle when its at home? *~*~
It is, according to its makers, the 'world's first designer reuseable water bottle'. Though I doubt this claim holds much water (*groan* - no pun intended!), the Wottle is a funky little solution to the plastic water bottle problem.
The Wottle is the brainchild of Brita, the water filtration experts, and Orla Kiely, the much-loved Irish-born designer and has been designed as the environmentally-conscious, water-drinking consumer's answer to having to repeatedly buy plastic mineral water bottles or refill these (not very hygienic and prone to leaking!).
~*~* Why should we care about the Wottle? *~*~
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few decades or so, you will know that awareness of environmental policy, issues and our impact on our environment has become key, particularly in the areas of recycling and the limited environmental resources we have. Globally, our consumption of plastic and plastic materials is roughly 100 million tonnes annually, with the UK using around 5 million tonnes a year alone.
Plastic itself is not naturally biodegradable - it doesn't disappear into the earth without a trace - but rather it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces through wind and water erosion and photo-degradation (being broken down by the sun). Scientists have found, in the oceans, flecks of plastic the same size as plankton - a scary thought when you consider the food chains and ecosystems that might be affected. One of the most common uses of plastics is in mineral water bottles - these, together with plastic carrier bags - are one of the main culprits in plastic pollution. Indeed, according to the UK, a terrifying four out of five plastic water bottles end up on landfill sites - not rotting away and disappearing, but remaining in the earth.
There are other water bottles and flasks on the market - the Wottle is not claiming to be the only one - but it is one example of how this problem could be tackled, through encouraging use of reusable plastic products that tackle the throw-away, 'one use' culture.
Being an advocate of the Wottle may also save you a few pennies in the long-term. The Wottle costs around £7.99 while a typical 500ml bottle of Evian (the mineral water of choice for the discerning fashionista, of course) costs around 50p. It would therefore take less than 20 uses to make your money back on the Wottle (which should, with a bit of care and attention, last you for years-worth of refills). It would also mean you've saved the use of 17 plastic water bottles in the process!
The Wottle also helps you avoid the slightly unhygienic practice of using your water bottle and refilling it (as the bottles are not designed for multiple use and, unless you're very good, there is a temptation to not give them a good wash between uses). Some plastics can, over time, leach into the water, which cannot be good for your health.
Nowadays, being environmentally savvy and actively looking for ways to save money and the environment are not only accepted but also pretty cool.
~*~* The design and use of the Wottle *~*~
The Wottle is, simply, a flask with a screw-top lid. The allegiance with Brita is a little random -don't expect some high-tech filtration system embedded into the Wottle! - it is literally a normal bottle.
The Wottle is made of thicker plastic, made of recycled HDPE plastic sourced in Suffolk, UK. The bottle is oval in shape (rather than a traditional cylindrical tube-bottle shape) which makes it quite nice to hold and also means the design on the front of the bottle is quite prominent on the face of the bottle.
The Wottle has a gorgeous distinctive Orla Kieley design on the front, in the lovely leaves and stem design, fading from dark yellow-green at the base to palest cream at the top, against the opaque colourless background of the bottle. The lid is also a bright, almost neon yellow tone to tie the whole piece together. The bottle also has a funky, rubberised strap which can be looped around the neck to create a handy carrying strap - the sparse packaging the Wottle comes in (environmentally conscious to the last!) has some suggestions of the different ways this flexible strap can be tied around the neck (or can be removed totally if you dislike it).
I think the winning feature of the Wottle is the gorgeous, bright, summery design, typical of Orla Kiely's other work. I would say the design is more feminine in nature through the curved leaf shapes, though there is no reason for a man to use the Wottle and appreciate the design too (the yellow-green colours used are definitely unisex). The Wottle would also be perfect for children to take as part of their lunchbox or for teenagers - there is something very 'cool' about the design and shape of the Wottle and would get them drinking more fluids (you don't have to use your Wottle for water of course, though hot liquids would probably not be recommended).
The Wottle weighs just under 100g when empty, so is neat and very light to carry either by hand or in your bag when going to work or elsewhere. The capacity of the Wottle is 500ml, which is comparable to the usual mineral water bottles, but may be a little to small for those people who like having the large, 1.5litre bottles with them at all times, as you will find yourself refilling the Wottle more frequently given its smaller size. However, I've not found this to be a problem and the smaller size means it is more 'handbag-friendly'.
The whole Wottle (with the exception of the plastic lid according to Amazon, although the makers Brita make no reference to this) is dishwasher safe. Alternatively, it can be added to your usual washing up and cleaned with washing up liquid and water in the usual way.
~*~* Where to buy and prices *~*~
The Wottle can be bought from a number of online sites, including Amazon and John Lewis (the latter being pioneer retailers of the product in their stores). The Wottle costs around £7.99, which is a reasonable price and actually far less than I would have expected to pay for an Orla Kiely product.
~*~* The Verdict *~*~
I love my Wottle - from a completely shallow point of view, it looks gorgeous and definitely brightens up my desk far more than a boring mineral water bottle. In addition, the strap is really handy for carrying around by one finger if I've my hands full, a great idea that can be removed if it doesn't appeal. I have found the Wottle doesn't affect the flavour of my water and has been really easy to keep clean (simply hand-washed and left to drain overnight to drip and air-dry). In addition, having such a gorgeous bottle has definitely encouraged me to drink more water, as I'm enjoying the product.
As for negatives, there aren't many at all. I would love if they released the Wottle in different coloured designs (a pink Wottle would be amazing!) and I understand that for some people it is just a silly extravagance, even at £7.99 only, when a mineral water bottle can be refilled too. The slightly elipse-oval shape of the bottle gives a wider design, which may also not appeal to those that like the long, thin style water bottles if you're limited on bag space.
If you're looking for a funky alternative to your usual mineral water bottle, with an environmental conscience, then maybe the Wottle is what you need!