The big guy in the water pitcher-filter market has practically become a common name, like Kleenex. But even Brita's most ardent fans might agree that those plastic containers aren't dinner party elegant.
There's a new player hoping to fill that spot: Soma, a glass carafe with a plastic filter that sits inside it.
The filter, which lasts two months, is biodegradable, made of coconut shell, silk and food-based plastic, the company says. It costs $49 with one filter; additional filters, automatically mailed to subscribers, cost $12.99. It's for sale online and in a few stores, including A+R on North La Brea Avenue. www.drinksoma.com
Mike Del Ponte was living in San Francisco when he hosted a dinner party one evening. A guest asked for water, and in the kitchen Del Ponte looked at his plastic water filter pitcher and decided, he said, "There's no way I'm going to put this on the table." As he poured the water into a wine carafe, the lid fell off and water poured all over the floor. That gave him and Ido Leffler, now the company chairman, the idea for Soma; no more decanting water.
Del Ponte quit his job at a startup and became "chief hydration officer." He said he wanted Soma to also do some good in the world, and the company gives a portion of its proceeds to various campaigns that provide clean drinking water to those without it. Last week, for example, $5 from each pitcher sold went to a World Water Day project.
"The water crisis is massive, but it's something we can change," Del Ponte said.
There's also a new home water filter and pitcher from the water bottle company CamelBak. The Relay, $36.99, has two filters over its plastic pitcher that remove chlorine, odors and tastes. The water flows through the filter and into the pitcher quickly, and filters last up to four months.
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