Read more about B-Better's journey told by one of the founders.
1. Who are you and what is a fact that few people know about you?
I’m Hélène, I come from Liège and I currently live in Brussels with my husband.
I've had the opportunity to work on several Unilever ice cream and beverage brands, always with the ambition to have a positive impact on our society, before developing and launching B-Better® with my partner in crime, Kris.
I’m passionate about new projects, new ways of working, new trends, … I am not afraid of change, on the contrary, it gives me energy.
Something few people know about me: when I was young, I already had an entrepreneurial mindset and I wanted to open a private center to help people to feel mentally and physically better, with a combination of intellectual and physical trainings.
2. Where did the idea of B-Better® come from?
Unilever gave Kris and me the complete freedom to develop a new brand from scratch in the hydration category. B-Better® was built on our own values and passions.
We wanted to offer more than just water: a better alternative to all soft drinks that are high in sugar and calories, but still with a refreshing taste (two liters of water a day can be boring …), and with additional health benefits. Moreover, it was unthinkable to launch another plastic brand. There are already too much plastics on earth, and we wanted to be different, we wanted to be a provocation in this world of plastic bottles. Finding the right packaging was one of our key priorities.
Today, I’m still very grateful for this opportunity.
3. How did you bring this idea to life?
B-Better® was developed as a lean start-up in Belgium, with a 'Build-Measure-Learn' approach. The B-Better® ecosystem was co-created with and for the consumers, embracing that resourceful, open-minded and flexible mindset. Listening to what people really need (what are their current problems) leads to real solutions. It is also crucial to collaborate with the right partners, to trust them and share your expertise, knowledge and learnings with each other.
4. Can you explain the purpose of B-Better®?
It’s our purpose to help consumers to be good to themselves – thanks to the power of (enhanced) hydration – and to be a bit better for our planet by fighting against plastic and litter in the streets and by changing their day-to-day habits. And by doing good for the planet, they are doing good for themselves again.
Tap water is a great, sustainable solution (and yes, please drink tap water when possible, by using our reusable bottle) but it's not always at hand, and sometimes you just want more. So we challenged ourselves to offer the best alternative possible. We believe that everybody should have access to the hydration that suits him or her best at any moment.
Together we can do better. We’re not perfect, but we can always go for better.
5. What does the name B-Better® stand for?
It's all in the name: BE BETTER. Everything can get better if we care about ourselves (physically AND mentally) and about our environment.
We live in a world where everyone tries to be perfect according to social norms. This constant pursuit of perfection puts a lot of pressure on people. We get a feeling of guilt, because we feel like we are not perfect, while others are. Trying to reach perfection can be paralyzing. We forget that nobody is perfect. The world doesn’t need perfect people. The world needs a lot of not-so-perfect people daring to do better, daring to be better. That’s how we can make a difference in the world. Step by step, together.
B-Better® also stands for: a better you, a better planet, better hydration, better energy, a better body, a better health, a better taste, a better society, a better climate, overall a better world.
6. Tell us three fun facts about B-Better® that you would love people to know.
1. The design of the letter B in the logo represents the letters B and W for Better Water.
2. The B also represents the Vitamin B-complex that's part of all our functional products.
3. When people discover the B-Better® range for the first time, the majority wants to try the B-Better® Charcoal, because of its black color.
7. What are some of the activities the team does to support the brand’s purpose?
A sustainable packaging is a good start, but making sure our packaging doesn't end up in nature is even more important! We want to encourage people to properly recycle and fight against plastic and littering in the streets with us, through multiple ways.
In 2019 and 2020, over 1% of our profit went to clean-up initiatives. We teamed up with River Clean-Up and created more awareness about the waste situation, while encouraging our fans and followers to join us. This year, despite COVID-19, the organization did a great job following regulations and could still get 3000 people in Belgium to join the 6 events that were organized. It led to a collection of 2.8 tons of waste, including 422 kg of plastic.
In collaboration with Join the Pipe, in October we’ve installed our first Join the Pipe x B-Better® tap water system.
Last but not least, we are also collaborating with entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry to install some B-Better® filtered tap water, in order to offer water from the tap to customers instead of bottled water.
8. What does your typical day look like and how do you make it better?
Every day I try to think about a (new) positive impact I can have on the world. It simply starts with my daily habits, and then some actions I can take in my job and society in general.
I usually start my day with a healthy breakfast on my terrace to take some fresh air (when the weather allows it). I also try to avoid checking my emails and other notifications before starting my work day. This is quite challenging to me, but I know it’s important: it helps me to start the day properly.
As I’m currently working from home, I always try to have a 30 minute walk during lunchtime, allowing me to start my afternoon with a fresh mind. At the end of the afternoon, when I need to go somewhere (visiting friends, working out, ...) I always think about the best way to get there: can I travel on foot or by bicycle?
Also, I do the majority of my shopping in local stores: it’s good for society, good for my health (as the food is more fresh) and with my backpack I can easily get there by foot.
9. What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is clearly one from Socrates: 'The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.' It helps to see things differently, and to give you more confidence to start an innovative and out-of-the-box project.
10. What are 5 tips that could help our readers be good to themselves?
1. First of all, don’t forget to drink enough water (of course!). It’s crucial to drink at least two liters a day to be the best version of yourself, both mentally and physically. What you drink is important to stay healthy and to maintain the function of every system in your body, including your heart, brain and muscles.
2. What you eat is also important for your wellbeing. The majority of the people believe that eating healthily is only about eating less, but that’s not true. You should find the right balanced diet: eating more of what your body needs, and less of what your body doesn’t need. You still can eat delicious meal and snack: there are a lot of healthy alternatives.
3. Start a weekly exercise routine. A better version of yourself starts with being in good physical shape. Of course, you can mix all activities, but try to create a routine and stick to it.
4. A lot of people are too 'connected'. Try a digital detox and enjoy nature! Go for a walk, disconnect from your phone and connect with your thoughts. And why not pick up some trash in the street if you spot some?
5. To finish, if you don’t know what habits and actions you want to change or improve, it’s important to take time to reflect on yourself: what kind of person are you, and what kind of person do you want to be? Identify people who inspire you and learn from them. A good exercise is to write a letter to your future self, five years from now. You can create a bucket list with all the things you want to change. Don’t forget to set a timeline, and start with small changes. Good luck!