Guy Jeremiah of Ohyo
I am an entrepreneur and initially worked as an environmental consultant. The environmental damage caused by the bottled water industry has always been a bugbear to me. This led me to establish Ohyo the Collapsabottle and the Find-a-Fountain app to make drinking tap water easier.
Humans dispose of 150 billion single-use bottles per year, enough to circle the earth 1000 times. It can take seven litres of water and a quarter litre of oil to produce one litre of bottled water. Some have already moved away from bottled water to re-fillable bottles. However, traditional bottles are bulky and it's not easy to find places where they can be refilled, particularly if you are out and about. Ohyo is a reusable bottle that, when empty, will collapse to fit into a pocket or a handbag. So like your keys or a mobile you can always have it with you. Refill just twice and Ohyo is carbon neutral.
Ohyo Bottle since 2010
What inspired you into your line of business?
Ohyo was born out of necessity. I found myself at St Pancras station with no water fountain in sight, no bottle in my pocket, and no option but to buy a bottle of water. From my background in running my own environmental consultancy business, I knew the wasted resources that made that bottle of water. It takes a quarter litre of oil and up to 7 litres of water to make 1 litre of bottled water. There are enough plastic bottles discarded every year to stretch round the world 1,000 times!
I concluded that people are reluctant to carry re-usable bottles because they are too bulky and invented Ohyo as a handy, collapsible water bottle that’s easy to take anywhere. An extended Ohyo holds 500ml, or 1,000ml for the larger version. When empty, an Ohyo will compress down to fit in a pocket. Using (and re-using) an Ohyo avoids the need to buy environmentally-damaging bottled water. In summer 2009 we cycled round London looking for fountains and established a free app for users to find drinking water sources near them.
How do you find the Things British retail concept? How has it helped your brand?
I work with The British Library Business and IP Centre and frequently pass Things British. The Eureka moment for Ohyo was in St Pancras, and our most consistent retailer resides there. Its great to be sold amongst so many other British Brands.
What does British-made mean to you?
Quality, Responsiveness, Speed and Reliability with minimial environmental impact. What advise would you give to anyone who is keen to step into retail?
Things British is a great way to test the market and then present your case to the big retailers – approach them with care and anticipate the tricks they will inevitably play on you!
What are the next big plans for your brand?
Mass retail in China, Schools distribution alongside Enterprise Training, and the launch of the WuduBottle to the Islamic population.