Roughly 750 million people in the world lack access to clean water. More than 840,000 of those people will die each year from a water-borne illness.
Absolut Elyx has teamed up with Water For People to gradually reduce those numbers one vodka bottle at a time.
You’re probably wondering what vodka has to do with safe water, or why a liquor company has partnered with an international nonprofit, but it’s really quite simple.
For every bottle of vodka sold, Elyx will provide a week’s worth of safe water, or 140 liters (about 37 gallons), to people lacking access to safe water through WFP. Likewise, for every copper pineapple drinking vessel purchased, a month’s worth of safe water, or 560 liters (about 148 gallons), will be provided to someone in need.
“While a spirits company and water non-profit may seem like an unlikely pair, water is the foundation of both our organizations,” says Jonas Tahlin, CEO of Absolut Elyx. “We also share a commitment to integrity and sustainability, and together we hope to amplify the goals and urgency in solving the global water crisis.”
To promote the launch, organizers have enlisted the help of a star-studded cast. “Portlandia” co-creator Fred Armisen directs a video designed to look like a casting call for a commercial. But the commercial never gets made.
“In the end, we never shot a full commercial, we made a short video about a casting instead,” closing captions read. “So nobody got the part, because on this mission everyone gets help.”
The video goes on to state that the money saved on production was donated to WFP, which, in turn, provided 3,000 people with access to safe water.
Celebrities who appeared for the “casting call” include, among others, Miles Teller, Tracee Ellis Ross, Taylor Kitsch, Chloe Sevigny, George Wallace and “Orange Is the New Black” actress Natasha Lyonne, who produced the video.
With this project, Elyx, a luxury vodka produced by Absolut, aims to “transform and modernize the spirits industry — making social impact integration the rule rather than the exception.” The company believes the familiarity of its brand can help raise awareness and support for long-term solutions to the global water crisis.
Elyx’s goal is provide at least 100,000 with access to clean water. So far, it’s helped provide 3,200 people with their H20 needs.
WFP already has programs in place in nine countries. It generates innovative ways for communities to become self-sufficient with their water supply needs by bringing together area residents, local entrepreneurs and local governments to help.
Tahlin says, “We want to ensure that we don’t just fill our own glasses, but that we also help fill the glasses of those in need with the most important drink in the world: water.”
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