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One boy, one passport, one million dreams. Gas & Gander is a blog capturing the essence of the brands and companies I love, the cities and cultures I embrace, the food and drinks I enjoy and most of all, the travel I experience. Most of all Gas & Gander is a super fun & informative guide with an abundance of information. Come and join me on my adventures at Gas & Gander. Currently based in Vancouver, British Columbia. 




Sean Loughran

The story of how this brand started is one that gives me chills. I've been gulping water from my MiiR bottle for the past two months and was thinking about writing a review sometime about the functionality and design of the water bottle, but it wasn't until I dug a little deeper that I realized that what this company is doing globally is so incredible that I decided to dedicate this week to the brand that's giving back in a different way than anyone else in their industry. 

MiiR was founded in 2009 in Seattle by Bryan PapΓ©. Rewind to 2006, when advanced skier Bryan found himself in a life or death situation after cracking his femur in half on a filming expedition. What I didn't know is that when you break your femur you can bleed to death internally within 10-15 minutes. Bryan sat against a tree with two thoughts in his head, the first was that he needed to marry his (then) girlfriend (now wife of nine years) and the second was wondering what people would say about him at his funeral. He realized in that moment that nobody would say he cared about those around him or about those in the community. He decided from that moment on, should he live, that he would make a difference. He survived, and the impact he's made since then is incredibly inspiring. 

The original designs for MiiR's first water bottle

The original designs for MiiR's first water bottle

MiiR's first collection.

MiiR's first collection.

I'm not going to spend too much time discussing product, because this post is more about the philanthropic arm of MiiR, the foundations on which the brand was built. However, I will say, that these simple water bottles have been incredibly well designed by Bryan PapΓ©, who was sick of the lack of a simple and functional water bottle; he found a niche in the market.

I understand his frustration as I've tried a few bottles and just like him, I've been splashed in the face many times by my water due to the oversized elephant mouth opening. Another frustration of mine is the brand I was using before I was gifted a MiiR didn't have a handle on the top, despite being created for hiking and expeditions. Now that I've used MiiR, I find it so easy to carry around due to something as simple as a top handle. It was a much needed packable in my backpack for the Sea to Sky Summit on Saturday.

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So aside from the awesome water bottles, what makes this brand so special? Let's start with the Product to Projectβ„’ initiative started by MiiR. Regardless of their profitability, the company gives 5% of their revenue annually to different giving projects around the world with a heavy focus on clean water, better education, and bicycle projects. A quote by Bryan PapΓ©, "It is far better to give someone a fishing pole and teach them to fish than simply handing them a fish." - Philanthropy Philosophy. 

Their Active Giving Project is a collaboration with Splash, a Seattle based nonprofit that ensures clean water, clean hands, and clean toilets for children in Asia and Africa. These two brands collaborating together are immediately benefitting 1,965 children in Kolkata, and they have plans to aid thousands more in the years to come by replicating this program in India's major cities and beyond. MiiR have contributed $45,000 to this project. This is just one project out of more than 55 that MiiR has contributed to.

MiiR have contributed to projects in Seattle, Africa, India, Ethiopia, Liberia, Uganda, Malawi, and many other third world countries around the globe. They give locally and internationally, in both rural and urban locations, MiiR partners with organizations who have deep transparency, are committed to progress and not perfection, and to projects that are led by and supported by the community. You can see a list of MiiR's current partners here

One more project by MiiR that I'd like to elaborate on is the MiiR Lab, a crowd-funding platform for new products. When MiiR have a new product they'd like to bring to market, they launch it in the Lab first, where we as consumers have the opportunity to pre-order the product at a discounted price. By purchasing these products before they enter production, we can assist in funding the production process. The reason I mention this is because I pre-ordered the Growler two months ago when it was still in the funding and production process, the Growler (which is amazing by the way) landed on my office desk last week. It felt great to be a part of something successful, and the Growler is now available here in four colorways. 

I could continue to talk about MiiR and their philanthropic projects for days, I could even write a book on the incredible success of this company. MiiR is a company that I'll be following on an ongoing period, updating you on their projects and products. This post is not sponsored by MiiR, it's simply coming from my heart as companies giving back to the communities in need is something I'm truly passionate about. Every time I refill by MiiR bottle, I look at it and think to myself that somewhere, I'm making a difference. Let's end with this video, and hopefully you, too, will be motivated to join the movement and make a difference with MiiR.