Pioneers Post

Ethical water achieves prestigious 'cool brand' status

18 September 2012
photo of Belu bottles

Even in a recession a desirable reputation is vital... Competition was fiercer than ever so achieving CoolBrands status is something Belu can be truly proud of.

Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the CoolBrands Expert Council

UK ethical water brand Belu has announced that it has officially been named a CoolBrand for 2012/13 – an influential annual initiative to identify the UK’s coolest brands.

Belu, which donates all profits to clean water charity WaterAid, is apparently the only British water brand to achieve the status this year and is one of only a handful of non-profit companies to appear on the list.

The CoolBrands list, now in its 11th year, follows a vote by a combination of just under 3,000 consumers and a panel of 39 designers, style experts, media personalities and prominent figures from the worlds of TV, fashion and music.

Helping rate coolness this year were the likes of Radio 1 DJ Gemma Cairney, fashion blogger Susie Bubble, hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks, celebrity chef Gizzi Erskine, and musician, actor and director Plan B.

Belu says it will use its new ‘cool’ status to encourage people to stop drinking imported brands and drink British water instead.

The social enterprise has promised never to export its products and questions why people would want to drink imported water.

Belu can be found on the shelves in Sainsbury’sand continues to develop working relationships with respected industry names such as Fifteen, Nobu, Smiths of Smithfield, Polpo and Le Manoir Aux’Quat’Saisons.

Karen Lynch, managing director of Belu, said: ‘We are thrilled to achieve CoolBrands status – this really is the icing on the cake for what has been a successful two years for Belu.

‘We are striving to change the way people perceive social enterprises and to be named as a CoolBrand really helps.’ 

She added: ‘In 2011 we pledged to donate a minimum of £300,000 to WaterAid over the following three years to help transform the lives of 20,000 people – in our first year alone we have exceeded our targets by donating £199,100. This legacy, along with our pledge to never export our products, use only recycled glass and plastic and remain 100% carbon neutral, has helped us prove that non-profit companies can be cool.’

Co-ordinated by The Centre for Brand Analysis, the prestigious CoolBrands list was drawn from over 10,000 independently identified brands and whittled down into a shortlist of 1,200. The panel of 39 influencers then scored each brand, bearing in mind factors such as style, innovation, originality, authenticity, desirability and uniqueness, before just under 3,000 members of the British public gave their ratings. The views of both the panel and consumers were combined to produce a list of the brands most highly rated by both council and consumers. Belu beat tough competition to take its place in the prestigious list.

Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the CoolBrands Expert Council, said: ‘Even in a recession a desirable reputation is vital, so being seen by opinion formers and the British public as a stylish attractive brand is not only a great compliment but an indicator of success. Competition was fiercer than ever so achieving CoolBrands status is something Belu can be truly proud of.’

The CoolBrands survey has been compiled annually since 2001. The results are published every September and a selection of the country’s coolest brands are featured in a luxurious, hardback format book, available from all good bookshops (RRP £50), or which can be ordered by contacting 020 7079 3310 or at You can also stay up-to-date on CoolBrands news at the CoolBrands Facebook page and