Black+Blum durables by Dan Black and Martin Blum
Black+Blum first gave us Box Appetit, the lunchbox for grown-ups. It featured an intricately molded Eastman Tritan™ copolyester lid that is scratch-resistant, BPA-free, and safe for the microwave and dishwasher. Black+Blum continued to use Tritan™ for their latest project Eau Good: a water bottle that makes the Japanese technique of filtering water using active charcoal accessible to a Western audience. “Most water filters use active charcoal to remove the metallic tang from tap water but those filtration cartridges tend to be quite expensive,” said Martin. “We thought why not use the original, very simple, active carbon sticks like the Japanese do? We felt it would be nice to bring this simple solution from Japan to the Western world – and hopefully get people to move away from the most costly water filters or bottled water.”
Unlike active carbon cartridges, the active charcoal stick – called a Binchōtan, and prepared using a special high-temperature steaming process – is simply dropped into a water bottle. It naturally filters unwanted tastes out of the water. Black+Blum adapted the traditional technique, creating an oddly shaped bottle with a notch that the the Binchōtan locks into rather than floating free. This new bottle is easier to drink from but the shape is difficult to form. "It looks simple enough but actually the shape created headaches for the molder. It involved a great deal of trial and error on their part but the end result was what we wanted,” said Martin.
“Tritan™ allowed us to create a form that relates to glass and that complements our genuine cork stopper and stainless-steel clasp,” explained Martin. “The rim has a much thicker gauge than a conventional plastic bottle with a very soft, round radius at the top – very much as you would expect with a glass bottle. We still have a lightweight body, albeit thicker than a normal plastic bottle but thin enough to squeeze to allow the charcoal to lock in place.