Trendsetting and trailblazing — this local entrepreneur quenches thirst around the world.
From the moment Bryan Papé, 26, began to talk about his business venture—the new line of hip and functional water bottles called MiiR—his enthusiasm and passion were evident.
Originally from Boise, Idaho, Papé works out of Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood designing water bottles that allow customers to show off some style and quench their thirst while helping others in developing countries.
The company’s name, “MiiR,” was inspired from an outdoor perspective. It derives from naturalist John Muir, who helped found the Sierra Club. Papé also notes that the Russian word “mir” means “world” and “peace.”
As if creating the best water bottle around wasn’t enough, MiiR also ties a philanthropic element into the equation. MiiR’s innovative give back program focuses on the dollar amount donated instead of the percent.
About six months into creating the brand, Papé became aware of the water crisis in developing countries. Wanting to integrate a give back program in a tangible way, Papé came up with MiiR’s one4one campaign. By donating one dollar from every bottle sold, MiiR is able to provide one person clean water for an entire year. (No, really. It’s that simple.)
The impact made is building wells in developing countries that last between five and 20 years, depending on maintenance. An average well costs about $5,000 and serves roughly 250 people for close to 12 years. “I think people really want to find a way to give back through their purchasing, so we allow that through our one4one campaign,” Papé said.
So far three wells have been built: two in Liberia and one in Laos. “We have served roughly 3,800 [people] for decades to come,” Papé said. Two more wells are in the process of being built in the Central African Republic.
If you buy your MiiR on their website, you can type in your order number and see the exact well that you helped fund. “We’re all about transparency, so it’s not just like it’s going to this ominous fund or this non-profit, we’re actually proving the work that we’re doing,” Papé said.
Not only do these stylish bottles make you “feel-good”, but they’re incredibly functional. A MiiR bottle includes a design feature so simple, but so crucial to making the drink experience better — an opening big enough to slip a few ice cubes through, but small enough to prevent that nasty splash in your face.
Add to that, a lid that takes just one twist to open (it’s equipped with fewer threads) and a base slender enough to fit in every cup-holder under the sun. They’re also customizable with different color options, sizes, patterns, photos, lid types and skins. “We really allow customers to show their individuality through our products,” said Papé.
A totally customized outdoor essential with a conscience, straight from our hometown? Sounds like a Seattleite’s cup of tea — or bottle of water.