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Malaysia’s Earliest Reusable Bottle Company Began Before Bottles Were Even A Thing

Malaysia’s Earliest Reusable Bottle Company Began Before Bottles Were Even A Thing

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Chances are, you’ve heard of and seen the colourful plastic water bottles. Perhaps you even have a few of your own.

But did you ever know that BROS is actually a homegrown, locally-made brand? (Don’t worry, we didn’t know either.)

A lot of customers also tell us that they never knew BROS was a Malaysian brand. That’s why this year in 2020 we decided to launch a Malaysian collection of bottles to celebrate our culture and our roots.

Chia Lee, Branding & Marketing Executive, to TRP

They’ve decided to be more upfront and display their Malaysian heritage with a full year’s worth of bottle designs themed around Malaysia as well as the Home Is campaign.

They wanted to ask the rakyat: even though home is Malaysia, what does Malaysia mean to you?

To celebrate Malaysia’s unique culture, they have also brought on 4 local artists to design for the Home Is campaign artist series, namely fritilldea, Ranerrim, Brindha Kumar, and Loka Made.

But how did the brand begin?

Founders Terence and Zoe simply wanted colourful reusable water bottles to carry their drinks with, and made their own to sell at a tiny kiosk in One Utama in 2004.

They started out with the idea of promoting drinking more water by running educational workshops at schools, building up regular hydration habits in children that is crucial for how hot Malaysia is.

As the little brand grew bigger with more and more loyal customers, they started to take chances to branch out across international borders, all while offering even more creative bottle designs and even a series of durable reusable food containers.

The Malaysian brand is popular in Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, and the US as well, proving good products will always be well-received anywhere.

The 321 Programme / Recycling efforts

The local brand was also one of the very first companies to actively hold recycling campaigns. Their very first 321 Trade-in Program started as a small stall in KL Sentral, which allowed the public to donate their unwanted plastic bottles or containers.

The 321 name stands for “3 acts to (2) love 1 Earth”, with the 3 acts referring to the 3R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle. The program is aimed to help Malaysias reduce their reliance on single-use plastic by using reusable water bottles and recycling their old ones.

All plastic containers and bottles collected by BROS will be processed into multi-purpose plastic pellets, to live a second life as motorcycle parts or baskets. However, BROS themselves do not use recycled plastic for their products.

We were told that this year, they collected 35 big bags of unwanted plastic containers and bottles to be recycled.
(Credit: TRP)

We cannot use recycled plastic in our products because it is not food-safe. In order to be safe for our customers, we must use virgin raw materials.

Chia Lee, Branding & Marketing Executive, to TRP

While recycling has become much more commonplace nationwide, the brand still finds that the 321 Trade-in Program is extremely popular with their loyal customer base.

BROS has been such a part of Malaysian life, even if most of us didn’t realize that it is a local brand!

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