What Drives Us
Back in 2002, there were no stainless steel water bottles for personal hydration, and the health and environmental issues linked to plastic use were not widely known. Seeing the issues early and clearly, Robert Seals, the inventor and founder of Klean Kanteen®, began cobbling together the first prototype with things he bought at the local hardware store in Chico, California.
In 2004, Robert introduced the 27oz Klean Kanteen onto the market to give people a better option than plastic and lined aluminum bottles: a safe, healthy, lightweight, reusable bottle free of Bisphenol A (BPA) and other toxic substances. Our mission to provide superior solutions and help people make better decisions had begun! In those early days, Klean Kanteens were shared with people at music festivals, environmental fairs, outdoor recreation events and other sorts of gatherings.
The Klean Kanteen torch was passed to the Cresswell family in 2005, and they have built upon Seals' original vision by developing an ever expanding line of durable stainless steel solutions to replace toxic plastic and displace single-use container pollution. With the mentorship of their father Darrel Cresswell, brother/sister team Jeff Cresswell and Michelle Kalberer have shepherded the company through the challenges of growth and expansion and are both at the forefront of the company's charitable work and policy advocacy.
"At Klean Kanteen, our commitment to you and the planet drives everything we do. From our stainless steel creations to the company we keep, we are firmly fixed on the task of making healthy, high-quality goods that will faithfully replace a lifetime of single-use items. Our hope is that you will go forth and re-use our products for years and even decades to come. One cup, bottle, and container at a time adds up... to big results." - Jeff and Michelle
In 2007 and 2008 mainstream media began reporting on the dangers of BPA. Word spread and many consumers searching for a healthy, safe, earth-friendly alternative to plastic and lined aluminum bottles turned to Klean Kanteen. Phones rang off the hook as we scrambled to fill orders. About a year later, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch made national news and the environmental devastation caused by plastic pollution worked its way into the collective consciousness. Nationwide, even worldwide, we are seeing a massive shift away from single-use plastic bottles as more people choose a healthier refillable option, often a Klean Kanteen. To see changes of this magnitude in such a short time is inspiring and reinforces our belief that small changes can make a huge difference.
As we strive to encourage and support consumers in making sustainable and healthy choices, Klean Kanteen continues to work towards those same goals within our company.
Since releasing the first Kanteen in 2004, significant steps have been taken to lower our environmental footprint. We became a member of 1% For The Planet in 2008, and have donated more than 1% of our annual sales to nonprofits working to protect and promote the health of our amazing planet. In 2012, we proudly joined the ranks of Certified B Corporations. Meeting the rigorous and independent B Corp standards of performance, accountability, and transparency was the kind of challenge we relish, and our membership will continue to guide us in the years ahead. In addition to adopting business policies that support environmental and fair labor practices, Klean Kanteen partners with likeminded nonprofits and environmental organizations working to educate the public about health and environmental issues. Please take a minute to read a bit more about our partners and friends.
"And who is this 'we' anyway?" you might ask.
We are fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, children, and friends. We are a small, family-owned and -operated company in northern California with more than 30 years of history and an enduring commitment to product and service excellence. We treat our customers like good neighbors and our partners like dear friends. We have stakeholders, not shareholders, and our bottom line is simple: to provide affordable, safe, healthy, high quality products and accessories and to promote and encourage health, sustainability and environmental awareness.