GIVE H2O—the first buy-one-give-one sustainable bottled water brand—offers natural spring water from Finland in reusable aluminum bottles. Founded by Henrik Ilvesmäki (MArch II ’20/ MDes ’22) and Nema Kheradmand, a master’s degree student in sustainability at the Harvard Extension School, the brand stands out for its commitment to giving back on a local scale, allowing buyers to donate to a nonprofit organization of their choosing. Among participating local charities are the American Red Cross’s Boston Food Pantry, Cambridge Women’s Center, and Somerville Fire Department.
The idea emerged from Kheradmand’s coursework in 2019, when he asked Ilvesmäki, his then roommate, to design the bottle and graphic identity. The two are passionate about water and sustainability. Charged with the task of creating a brand in the saturated and unsustainable bottled water market, Ilvesmäki—a registered architect in Finland and a design thinker—tapped into knowledge from marketing classes at MIT Sloan School of Management and the GSD’s “Paper or Plastic: Reinventing Shelf Life in the Supermarket Landscape.”
The bottle’s signature hexagonal shape, the untapped spring water source in Finland, and GIVE H2O’s 100 percent commitment to charity have all received a positive response so far. Over 1,000 bottles have been sold, with an equal amount locally donated. Ilvesmäki is now the company’s chief creative officer and Kheradmand is CEO.
“Our goal is to definitely take this venture global one day,” says Ilvesmäki. “I’m from Finland, where the water is the best in the world, and we hope to really share that water with everyone who needs it.” Currently, GIVE H2O is sold in-store at Pemberton Farms and can be purchased online at www.giveh2o.com.