Earth Day: 5 mins with Sipful Founder, Darius Darwell.

From the first Earth Day back in 1970 to the present day nearly half a century later, the green message has never been more important. A lot has changed in this time, but the core message remains the same, that as both individuals and collectively, we have the power to effect significant positive change and protect our Earths precious and finite resources, for our generation and generations to come. 

Sipful founder, Darius Darwell

We grabbed 5 minutes with our founder, Darius, to talk about what drives him in his mission to make Sipful a regenerative brand by 2026. 

What are the origins of your passion for the environment?

I grew up on the first Biodynamic farm in Scotland in the 80s, in fact it was the first registered organic dairy farm in the country. My parents were definitely ahead of their time, and through their influence, from as young as I can remember, I was very conscious of environmental impact and importance of sustainability. It has manifested itself into who I am now; impact driven, where I shop and how I live my life. This has naturally gravitated into business for me. Now I think everyone is seeing environmental impact as a corporate responsibility, but it’s how seriously you take that, how hard you push it, how much of a priority it actually is. For me, it's part of every business decision really, part of the direction and part of the end goal.

 

What inspired you to create Sipful?

As a family, we love festivals and outdoor events, yet we found that there was very little choice in the drinks market as an alternative to beer. When we searched for options in the ready-to-drink market, there were mostly drinks reminiscent of 90's alcopops –overly sweet and full of additives. The canned wine available at the time wasn’t of great quality either. There was clearly a gap in the market for great tasting, naturally derived drinks. My wife lived in California, where there's a great brunch culture, so our take on the Mimosa was a no brainer, and her sister's time spent in Italy definitely influenced our interest in classic Bellinis. And adding in a fantastic organic fizz was the starting point! Cans are not just a more convenient option to glass, because they are lighter and less fragile, they are also far kinder to the environment as they are infinitely recyclable.

 

Why is it so important to use cans rather than glass? 

Cans are widely and infinitely recycled, both here in the UK and around the world.

Scandinavian countries are at 99% plus can recycling rate, and even in the UK we are up to 82% of aluminium that is recycled.  Plus, aluminium is a commodity, so unlike plastic which is often dumped, aluminium is valuable to people so there is a vested interest in recovering it.

It takes significantly less energy to recycle aluminium than to recycle glass. Aluminium is 100% recyclable as opposed to glass, where you need to mix in a high percentage of new glass with recycled material. Looking at transport by volume, it is surprisingly 600 grams for glass versus 32 grams for the same volume of aluminium which equates to huge amounts of saving in transportation costs. Significantly, aluminium is better for the quality of the product, in terms light getting in to cans. And finally the weight of cans makes it more easily transportable to events.

 

What advice would you give a start up in the drinks industry, if you were going to pick one driving factor? 

Ultimately, passion for what you do. Passion will carry you through when things get tough. The thing that has pulled me out of those moments of “what the hell am I doing” is having the passion for what we are doing – heading up an impact driven drinks brand. Of course entrepreneurs need to be careful not to be pig-headed, so listen harder, as there is balance to be made between listening and going with your gut. 

 

If you would like to get in touch with Darius, contact him at darius@sipful-drinks.com