Bottled in the Poconos, based in Philadelphia and promoted in Allentown,
aims to solve a global problem. Now the nation’s biggest retailer has opened its tap.
Humankind’s mission is to dig wells and install filtration, chlorinization and rainwater catchment systems to bring safe drinking water to the estimated one billion worldwide without such access. Besides conventional fund-raising, Humankind aims to use the proceeds from its bottled water sales to help build clean water systems.
The start-up company produced its first bottle only in October, but sales are likely to cascade after winning Wal-Mart’s “Get on the Shelf”
contest. “As soon as we get the bottles on the shelf, Lord willing, the money will start to flow, just like the water,” says Humankind founder T.J. Foltz, a former Christian youth minister.
Humankind won the Wal-Mart contest with a concerted social media campaign, helped by free advertising on WORD-FM, a Christian radio station in Allentown.
Foltz says the company and its associated non-profit organization are now working on ways to raise money and awareness and make the money they raise stretch further. “We’re trying to figure out what sales need to look like in order to expand the mission,” he says.
It doesn’t hurt that the bottled water itself, bottled in Laurel Run, is exceptionally pure, he adds. “When we set out to do this, we had no idea that the purest spring water is right here in Pennsylvania. We’re somewhat sheepish that we didn’t know that.”
Source: T.J. Foltz, Humankind Water
Writer: Elise Vider