This week, Cafepress is proudly announcing the addition of SIGG water bottles to its line of print-on-demand products. Cafepress shopowners can now have their own designs printed on SIGG bottles, which is important, because… um… okay, I’m trying to think of a reason to be enthusiastic about it, and I can’t come up with one.
When I was a kid, we drank water out of these things called glasses, and cups, and we kept reusing these containers, washing and storing them to drink out of again. How ecofriendly of us! When we needed to lug water with us, we drank out of thermoses, or canteens. Never, in my memory, were any of these things branded… oh, except for those Star Wars collectors glasses we got from Burger King, or McDonald’s, or someplace like that. Is that when the branded drinkware trend started?
Anyway, I like to check out new Cafepress products, to see where they’re made, and what kind of ethical considerations are attached to that. In our own work with Cafepress, we’re committed to selling stuff that’s made in the USA, for the sake of supporting sweatshop-free work environments, and to avoid the impact of shipping things halfway around the world. So, where are SIGG bottles made?
Well, that depends on which SIGG bottles you’re talking about. SIGG’s stainless steel bottles are made in China. SIGG’s aluminum bottles are made in Switzerland. Cafepress offers SIGG’s aluminum bottles.
So, on the no-sweatshop ethical issue, SIGG bottles on Cafepress pass the test. There is no known problem of present-day sweatshop labor in Switzerland.
There remains the issue of overseas shipping, however. A SIGG bottle encourages people to re-use a container for water, rather than grabbing a disposable water bottle. I appreciate the environmental sensibility of that. However, to have a container shipped all the way from Europe in order to drink out of it in the USA is a pretty big waste of energy, canceling out a great deal of the benefit of re-using a SIGG bottle. Besides that, there are a great deal of re-usable bottles we come across in our everyday lives that we could use as bottles for water. Get a cheap bottle of wine, one of those kinds with a cap, for cooking with rather than drinking, and you’ve got a water bottle right there.
So, why spend the 30 dollars being charged on Cafepress for SIGG bottles? Fashion? If you’re willing to toss away that much money for an accessory bottle to match your handbag, the statement you’re making about yourself is not flattering.
I think I’ll pass on designing labels for SIGG.