‘Shouldn’t exist’: Brand axes ‘silly product’


Thankyou is getting out of the water business.

The Collingwood-based social enterprise company, which started 12 years ago selling bottled water with the goal of ending poverty in developing nations, made the announcement in a blog post this morning.

"We're announcing the end of Thankyou Water," the company said, describing the fact that it sold single-use plastic bottled water as "the elephant in the room" that had existed since its inception.

"We've said it from the start, bottled water is a 'silly product' and that it shouldn't exist - but while it does, we wanted to provide a better choice in the market that would help bring water to those in need. We naively always thought we'd eventually find a solution that's a win-win for humanity and the planet. We were wrong."

The blog post said the company had been unsuccessful in seeking "responsible-ish solutions", including reducing the amount of plastic and wastewater used in the process.

"(To) be honest, all-in-all anywhere we landed felt no better than greenwashing," it said.

"The deeper we looked, and the more we considered the life cycle of the alternatives, we realised it wasn't actually any better for the environment. These realisations have left us facing reality. To reduce the impact that single-use bottled water has on the planet, well, we have no other option but to leave it behind."

As of today, the company has ceased production on its bottled water range and the last bottles will be "trickling off shelves over the coming months".

It will now focus attention on its range of personal care and baby products.

"We exist to empower consumers to help end extreme poverty through their purchase, which we will continue to do with our current ranges (and the new products we'll have in the near future!)," the post said.

"So the question is, will we ever fill that gap with a water product again? The short answer is, yes. In time we will. It will look very different, but it will exist to serve both humanity and the planet."

The company encouraged consumers not to buy bottled water, saying it "turns out there are millions of 'water points' here in Australia".

"We know that for most of you, if you stood up right now and took a few steps to your bathroom, kitchen, or even walked to a cafe nearby, you'd find water," it said.

"All you need is your favourite reusable cup or drink bottle and you're good to go!"

Thankyou has been gradually shifting away from the bottled water category for several years, unable to compete with deep discounting from supermarket home brands.

One industry source last year noted Thankyou had "kind of disappeared from the water market" with only a small amount stocked at Woolworths and 7-Eleven.




Originally published as 'Shouldn't exist': Brand axes 'silly product'