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Why Australian brand Fressko wants you to buy less of its products

WORDS BY MAEVE KERR-CROWLEY

Like a capsule wardrobe but for your coffee.

Environmental impact and reusability are big, important topics in our collective consciousness right now. It’s probably safe to assume most of us have a reusable cup somewhere in the house, as well as a stock of shopping bags ready to grab by the door.

And while saying no to single-use plastic has become second nature to a lot of people, it’s still a relatively new movement. Just a few short years ago, the idea that throwing out a coffee cup a day or drinking from chemically-tainted plastics was bad wasn’t something the average joe really thought about.

It was the same with Sean Atme. Now the owner of reusable cup and bottle makers, Fressko, Sean found himself caught in conversations about plastic eradication and the dangers of BPA products a little over five years ago. Around the same time, he noticed a palpable shift in public concern and, along with close friend Lucas Ciancarelli, spotted a gap in the market for functional, aesthetically designed products that could actively help people cut single-use plastic from their lives.

“My mum is a big tea drinker,” Sean explains. “I was suddenly becoming conscious of what she was drinking out of, and that her tea infuser was actually made of plastic. There was nothing in the market that was suitable and also nice to look at. It sort of evolved from there, into what you see today.”

What we see today is a line of reusable coffee cups, flasks and drink bottles designed to eliminate disposable carriers from your life. Obviously, reusable cups and bottles aren’t a rarity these days, with plenty of brands filling shelves with their own takes on these products, but Sean is confident in Fressko’s ability to set itself apart from the competition.

This is largely because of the brand’s solid design philosophy, backed by three guiding pillars: quality, function and style.

From day one, Sean and his team were highly conscious of what their products were made from. Everything had to be 100 per cent BPA-free, sustainably sourced and durable, such that it wouldn’t need to be replaced every six months or so.

“We knew if we were going to release anything new into the market or become a drink bottle competitor, we had to work with the best materials we had access to, that weren’t tainted by any chemicals,” says Sean.

Using glass, bamboo and food-grade stainless steel, Fressko’s flasks and cups are created by skilled manufacturers in China. It’s a complex, 12-step process, which Sean likens to baking a cake. If the materials are off, or you’re not working with the right temperature for the right amount of time, you’re inevitably going to face problems with your end product. For Sean, following that recipe and creating the perfect cake-flask isn’t negotiable.

The second pillar is seemingly the one Sean and his team are most passionate about. He explains there’s no point to making a product if it’s not going to be functional, and that he’s not running his business “just for the sake of selling a coffee cup”.

Fressko’s idea of functionality relies heavily on the versatility of its products. Take the OG flasks released back in 2014, for example. Each one comes with a removable infusion filter, so while Sean’s mum can brew her tea on the go, she can just as easily use the bottle for smoothies, fruit water, ice tea or coffee.

“Humans should not have more than one drink bottle or one coffee cup in their cupboard. It just doesn’t make any sense,” says Sean. “I don’t want our products to just be one thing for the customer, I want them to accommodate all these different beverages.”

Next, the pillar that consumers tend to fall for more than any other: style. Sustainability and safe materials are super important, but I’ll be the first to own my refusal to buy an ugly drink bottle or coffee cup.

The team at Fressko has worked on a range of simple, aesthetically pleasing products you’d feel no shame carting around all day. Most recently, it’s expanded its colour offering to include options like khaki and river, but Sean explains the colour range remains limited nonetheless. It’s an intentional move, designed to encourage people to buy consciously and stick to the ‘one product for everything’ approach.

To push this idea of functionality and versatility further, the brand has turned its attention to accessories that make the one product you buy work even harder and smarter. The brand has recently introduced leather cup sleeves, designed to fit snug around the existing Fressko range. My personal favourite part of the design is that it comes with a handy finger loop. It makes it easier to hold onto the cup when you’re out and about, and means you can use your phone easily at the same time.

Also, much like elevating a capsule wardrobe with accessories, the sleeves come in seven tonal colours including olive green, rust and blush. It’s a great addition for those of us who aspire to a minimal lifestyle, but are easily bored after six months of using the same old colours.  Sean also mentions a few new products are in the pipeline, though they’re under wraps for now.

At each stage, Sean assures me, Fressko is driven by purpose. All products are carefully deliberated from the get-go and if released, it’s to meet a consumer need.  Most recently, that need has been thoughtful gifting. The brand has introduced two gift sets – one for tea, the other coffee – that include a Fressko carrier alongside a small selection from either Pukka tea or Pod and Parcel.

If you’re looking to buy your one bottle to rule them all, you can check out Fressko’s range online here.

madebyfressko.com

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