UPDATE: Thankyou, formerly known as Thankyou Water, last Wednesday launched a campaign to urge Coles and Woolworths to help millions of people around the world by stocking Thankyou Water and its new range of body care and food products.
The social enterprise is asking the two major retailers to help Australians “live every day, give every day” by stocking products that fund safe water solutions, food programs and health and hygiene training to those in need.
“If they say ‘yes’, Thankyou, in partnership with Coles and Woolworths, could go from helping 50,000 people, to millions in the developing world,” said Thankyou MD and co-founder, Dan Flynn.
Since launch last Wednesday, the campaign video has received over 60,000 views on YouTube and thousands of fans have posted videos and comments directly onto Coles and Woolworths’ Facebook pages in support of the Thankyou range.
The campaign has been supported by celebrities such as Jules Lund, Chrissie Swan, Andrew Gaze, Rebecca Morse, Peter Helliar, Nicole Livingstone, Tim Costello, Dean Geyer and Dylan Lewis.
By SARAH PRESCOTT
Most people think bottle water is a little bit silly. Ironically, so does Dan Flynn, founder of bottled water social enterprise, Thankyou Water.
“Why pay two to three dollars for something that we can all get from the tap for free? The thing is, we like the convenience of water, a healthy alternative to soft drink, and so sometimes we are willing to pay for it,” says Flynn.
By tapping into the $600M bottled water market in Australia, Flynn, along with his co-founders Justine Flynn and Jarryd Burns, has established a social enterprise that exists solely to fund safe water projects in developing nations.
The organisation was founded in 2008 by a group of university students, spearheaded by 19 year-old Flynn, who had a vision to empower the everyday Australian to change the world.
The group, while working part-time jobs and juggling university degrees, volunteered their time over three and a half years to make their dream a reality.
However, it was by no means an easy journey. Flynn often says, “Six months after we started, we hoped we’d be where we are today.”
After deciding he needed to do something about the World Water Crisis (WWC), Flynn, a construction project management student at RMIT University, set to the task of finding out how to start a company from scratch.
The team was told they faced over $250,000 of start-up expenses, not to mention the millions of dollars they were told it would take to market the brand. This volume of cash didn’t exist for Flynn and his team.
Flynn now often jokes that the team at that time had a combined net worth of about $1,000.
Wearing borrowed suits and removing the telltale p-plates from their cars, the group attended first round meetings with bottlers in August 2008, under the claim that they were about to launch “the next big brand of water in Australia”.
After four not-so-successful meetings, when they sat down with bottler number five they dropped the confidential spiel and explained exactly what they planned to do.