Mike Del Ponte was hosting a dinner party for some design industry folks when a guest asked for filtered water. "All I had was a cheap plastic pitcher with those black flakes floating in the water," he says. "I couldn't bring it out in front of everyone." Spurred by the incident, Del Ponte teamed up with Ido Leffler to create the Soma, swapping the standard plastic jug for a sleek glass carafe ("It's something you show off," Del Ponte says) and introducing compostable filters. Soma's filter is a handwoven screen of vegan silk, which traps impurities better than plastic. And because most consumers change their filters about once every six months instead of the healthful two, Soma mails new filters to customers when it's time to switch. "We take water for granted, and we wanted to elevate the experience," Del Ponte says. "It's water by design." ($60 [subject to change], somawater.co)
[Photo by Joel Stans; prop styling: Peter Tran]
A version of this article appeared in the June 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.