By Morwenna Kearns
'Ooh, pretty!' That's the reaction when I pull the WAKEcup water bottle out of my bag. And it is very nice-looking, as flasks go. Its combination of minimalist design, natural bamboo and shiny steel is much sleeker than a sports bottle (why so chunky?) yet fancier than a lot of the reusable bottles around.
The water bottle (£18) is part of WAKEcup's range of reusable receptacles which also includes a tall coffee cup, a travel mug (with a handle!) and a tea infuser (£45 for the set of four, below). All have the stylish bamboo element, which the brand says is sustainably sourced.
Featuring a stainless steel double wall inside, the water bottle is said 'to keep your drink ice cold for up to four hours'; I didn't time it but my drink was certainly refreshing after a long and sweaty train journey. Apparently it's also suitable for hot drinks, but I'd advise pouring your cuppa out into a mug rather than risk burning your mouth on the steel rim. WAKEcup recommends its products are washed by hand but my dishwasher tests were successful, getting rid of lipstick marks and not causing any obvious damage.
With a capacity of 450ml of liquid the WAKEcup water bottle is a little smaller than the standard half-litre of other brands, but it's enough for most thirsty people and it fits in my smallish handbag. This is important: if something won't fit in your bag, you're simply going to leave it at home. How often do you take War and Peace on the bus?
And being prepared is really the point of WAKEcup and other brands. By carrying a coffee cup or water bottle with you, there's no need to buy a drink in a single-use container. A veritable mountain of plastic bottles and so-called disposable coffee cups end up in landfill, on our streets and in our seas every day, and attempts to recycle more of them will only go so far. WAKEcup is also donating ten per cent of its profits to the Marine Conservation Society and Plastic Oceans, to further tackle the plastic flood.
Yes, you can stay hydrated, sustainably and stylishly.