A series in which we celebrate inspirational brands that are changing the world.
Bib&Sola’s hand-blown drinking vessels are gorgeous, yes, but they are also examples of what founder Kira Heuer calls Aesthetic Activism, a philosophy that catches the eye to raise awareness about plastic waste. It certainly caught ours!
It’s almost as if Heuer was destined to be a creative eco-champion: The daughter of an artist and an environmental activist, she grew up in California, alongside the ocean. All of the elements were there from the beginning. But they didn’t come together until later, in adulthood, after Heuer educated herself and became personally passionate about the global water crisis, including plastic pollution.
Determined to make a change, Heuer drew on her artistic and activist backgrounds to create Bib&Sola, a collection of arresting, color-streaked carafes and drinking vessels made of luxurious Italian glass. These are more than dishes. They’re “an undercover lobby to reconnect with Mother Nature.”
Bib&Sola, Latin for drink and comfort, is all about influencing public opinion through beauty. Heuer elaborates: “The image has to capture their eyeballs first, and then we can communicate the story behind it. My pieces allow people to emotionally connect, but our eyes work first.” And once the eyes work, these “conscious alternatives to plastics” help users to consider their own role in maintaining clean water ways.
Hence, Aesthetic Activism.
While Bib&Sola received great press from upscale magazines upon its 2014 debut, Heuer sought an even greater scope. To that end, she launched One on Every Desk, a social impact enterprise that teams with corporate offices to substitute employees’ plastic bottles with Bib&Sola’s artful creations.
By encouraging large outfits like Vogue to address this issue, Heuer has reached — and educated — even more consumers through the Bib&Sola brand. To her, the brand isn’t just products; it’s a media in and of itself: “Brands can really be powerful because it's a way that we buy — that's where our power lies. And what we don't buy, is where our bigger power lies.”
That’s a Fifth Estate move, for sure.
With her brand and mission now fully established, Heuer’s looking ahead: In addition to introducing artistic collaborations with Bib&Sola’s signature glassware, she’s aiming to disrupt another industry in need of aesthetic makeover: canteens. Heuer’s design-led update on the classically utilitarian urn will feature built-in filtration systems to raise awareness about unclean drinking water around the world.
We’ll drink to that!