For most of us everyday peasants, hydration is just one of those annoyingly necessary things we accomplish with a $2.95 water bottle from the local grocery store.
But in the age of Instagram fitness empires and activewear as fashion, such a humble little drinking container no longer does the job.
Alas, we are now living in the age of luxurious designer-brand water bottles.
These days, celebrities from Emily Ratajkowski to Reese Witherspoon and Gisele Bündchen are touting high-end reusable bottles to advertise their environmental wokeness while avoiding death by dehydration.
A range of $AU67 “luxury water bottles”, made by designer Virgil Abloh and released last month, have already sold out with a lengthy waiting list to follow.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald — which described it as “the high-fashion water bottle” — there was an instant wait list of 4000 people when they first went on sale on February 25. Now they’ve sold out.
That’s right. A 4000-person waiting list for a water bottle.
The glass water bottle, made by sustainable water brand SOMA, features a silicone sleeve printed with the Evian logo and the words “Rainbow Inside” in a range of colours.
But otherwise, it fulfils the same basic function as any other water bottle — add water, drink water, remain alive.
And it’s not just Evian. Oprah-approved designer bottle brand S’well took in revenue of more than $US100 million ($A142 million) in 2016, according to Bloomberg.
A couple of years ago, the brand released a limited-edition bottle covered in thousands of Swarovski crystals for $US1500 ($A2132). To its credit, S’well said it would contribute 100 per cent of the net profits of the pricey bottle to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
The company boasts over 250,000 Instagram followers.
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Bling it on. Pop bottles of Crystal all day with the new pink crystal 500 Collection. Every 500 Collection bkr sold benefits Water for People, helping to provide a full month’s supply of clean water to a person in need, giving you an ultra-clean conscience.
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Similarly, you can pay up to $A195 for one of “luxury glass bottle” brand bkr’s more expensive products.
While well-known brands and corporations from Adidas to Starbucks are increasingly embracing the anti-plastic movement, it may be difficult to comprehend how people can justify spending more than a few bucks to consume something as accessible and universal as water.
But there may be a number of factors at play — from environmental awareness to fulfilling a psychological need for better wellbeing.
A piece in The Atlantic released last month described such water bottles as a “21st century status symbol”. They now come in hundreds of size-and-colour combinations, some are made to look like marble or pastel glass and others have your initials engraved into them like a purse or wallet.
“On the surface, water bottles as totems of consumer aspiration sound absurd: If you have access to water, you can drink it out of so many things that already exist in your home. But if you dig a little deeper, you find that these bottles sit at a crossroads of cultural and economic forces,” the article says.
Apparently, this is especially true among Millennials — ironically due to being financially worse off than their parents were. “For a lot of people, they spark a little bit of joy in the otherwise mundane routine of work, exercise and personal hygiene.
“For a generation with less expendable income than its parents’, a nice bottle pays for itself with a month of consistent use and lets you feel like you’re being proactive about your health and the environment.”
A similar piece in The Guardian said luxury water bottles had become “the new tote bag”, describing it as “an instant way to signpost that you’re environmentally conscious, while also adding a Insta-friendly fashion statement to your everyday look”.
The article noted water bottles both signify your commitment to the environment and a healthier gym-going lifestyle.
It helps that dozens of celebrities have cited drinking water as their number one beauty and wellness tip. Beyonce says she drinks “at least a gallon of water with lemon a day”. Elle MacPherson said she had three litres a day. Supermodel Kendall Jenner told Vogue that staying hydrated was her “best beauty tip”.