Brand Story: Stop the Water While Using Me! – Bringing Awareness to a Global Issue

Some brands go for the abstract when choosing a name. Maybe it will be simply a single word, consisting of one syllable, designed to conjure up a feeling or emotion but nothing too specific.

Stop The Water … ! info haven’t gone down this route. This German cosmetics brand is passionate about the issue of global water scarcity and it’s there for all to see in the unusual but memorable name.

The brand’s General Manager, Kaya Line-Knust explains that the name was chosen to “send a clear and unmistakable message to the entire world with an international focus on countries that are currently facing water shortages and droughts.”

Water is a life or death concern in some parts of the world. Although around 70 percent of our planet is water, only 0.3 percent of it is drinkable. Around 844 million people worldwide – 1 in 9 people on the planet – do not have access to safe and clean water. A child dies from a water-related disease every 90 minutes.

In spite of these stark statistics, water waste and water pollution is common in the western world. It was to raise awareness of these issues and to try and instigate change that Stop The Water While Using Me! was founded.

“We all know that water is the essence of life, but it gets wasted every single day!” says Kaya. “This is why we created the first cosmetic range that asks people to save water.”

Stop The Water… sells a range of natural beauty and hygiene products including soaps, body lotions, hand lotions, shower gels, shampoos, lip balms, toothpastes and toothbrushes. Products are made using 100 percent natural ingredients free of synthetic additives such as colourants and fragrances. This is to ensure that “nothing but pure nature” flows back into the water cycle.

Goods are sold in refillable and reusable containers to encourage recycling and minimize waste. Most of the products are also vegan-friendly.

The brand promotes reduction of water waste through its marketing and on its website.

“It’s a simple but effective message in order to remind people to save water or think about their water consumption,” says Kaya. “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from our customers. They say that they were actually rethinking and changing their behavior.”

Stop The Water… products are sold in around 250 luxury hotels and 350 boutique stores around the world. An online store has also been launched via the brand’s website. There’s only a small team of eight people that work on the marketing and social media promotion, but so far they’ve attracted over 12,500 supporters on Facebook as well as been endorsed by a handful of influential beauty bloggers.

Kaya was inspired to start up the brand after growing up in a hippie commune in the German countryside. The commune sourced their water from a self-made well, so she was aware from an early age what a precious resource it is.

Eventually settling on the idea of “an organic cosmetics brand that asks people to be environmentally conscious”, Kaya spent some time trying to find a German laboratory that she could work with to create natural formulations. After finding a suitable lab, work began on the first Stop The Water While Using Me! products, which included their Lemon Honey Soap and the Sesame Sage Body Lotion.

In addition to raising awareness of water wastage issues to consumers, Stop The Water… also raise funds to support water projects worldwide through their scheme called Drop A Donation While Buying Me! Customers shopping on the brand’s online store can donate to projects. A share of Stop The Water… revenue is donated through their Good Water Projects initiative.

Global projects that have benefited to date include a water collection project in Tanzania that turns fog into drinking water, a water kiosk project in Madagascar that provides fresh drinking water to over 500 families daily, and a Drop For Change project that provides filtration systems to create clean drinking water for schools in Kenya.

Kaya’s dream, however, is that this is just the start of something that will eventually become mainstream in the cosmetics and beauty industry.

“I personally believe that organic products in general, but especially organic cosmetics, will become the norm in the future” she says. “It will no longer be a ‘special market’ since overall behavior is changing a lot. We all have to be part of the change!”