When Jaden Smith walks into the room, he is not what you might expect from your average 20-year old. But then again, Jaden Smith isn’t your average 20-year old.
Son to one of the most powerful and influential actors in the world, Will Smith, Jaden is, however, forging his own path with his eco-friendly water brand JUST; an initiative he hopes will help change the world.
Sitting down with Smith amid the Australian launch of JUST Water, we were fortunate enough to talk on all things sustainability, the environment, and what it means to be a man in 2019.
Founded on a Small Idea
Warm, inviting and friendly, Jaden Smith looks into your soul when he speaks to you. He is exuberant, full of life and speaks passionately about sustainability; like someone who has worked a lifetime in the field.
Founded at the tender age of eleven, when most kids his age were either playing video games or out riding bikes, JUST water is the culmination of hard work, persistence and innovation in the areas of sustainability; a notion that Smith is evidently proud of.
“I was surfing in Hawaii on a family holiday, and I would see a whole bunch of plastic floating around in the water. I was confused by it, and didn’t understand how it got there,” explains Jaden Smith.
“Piquing my interest, I started learning about the environment (how plastics in the ocean create pacific patches); global warming (and the rising of greenhouse gases released through how we use and produce energy and bi-products); and about water – humans just can’t survive without water.”
Analysing the market and industry producing and selling water – which centres around plastic one way or the other – Smith went to work discovering alternative ways to produce water bottles; for they were hydrating humans but hurting the planet in turn.
“I wanted to find a way that would produce less plastic as well as something that wouldn’t pollute the air as much either,” says Smith.
“We needed a product that wouldn’t release as much greenhouse gas because that’s what is really going to affect humanity as an endangered species in the future.”
Nine years on, JUST Water continues its global expansion by launching in Australia; the latest move in the eco-friendly water brand’s mission to help reduce plastic pollution globally.
Not JUST Water
JUST contains locally sourced Australian spring water and is packaged in a fully recyclable Tetra Pak carton. The paper-based carton is made from 82% renewable resources – paper certified by Forest Stewardship Counsel wood sources and the cap and shoulder is made of plant-based materials – it’s impressive to say the least.
Seeing a push from today’s millennials in wanting to affect change and wanting to start the conversation around sustainability and the environment, JUST is born from the idea that we, the people, can influence change; and Smith is leading the pack.
“People are upset and ready to make a change, and we will be there to support them through JUST,” says Smith.
“We are not alone in this fight. We are not alone in the conversation about sustainability. JUST is my biggest dream come true, and I will do all that I can to ensure it is making a difference; we will continue to innovate to affect change.”
The Future is Now
The JUST brand looks to expand its products imminently, with a long-term goal of creating less of a footprint and reducing CO2 emissions significantly.
“JUST will tackle plastics and CO2 emissions and eliminate these polluters in daily products we tend to use,” says Smith.
“We will create a range where each product category is reducing CO2 emissions significantly, especially compared to competitors, and we won’t go into markets unless we know we can reduce the emissions and plastic use.”
It’s clear to see that Smith is passionate about sustainability and the environment. He lives and breathes it. It’s also refreshing to see an individual of his calibre using his platform for the greater good.
“For me, sustainability means the ability to sustain life on earth. Specifically, to sustain human life,” explains Smith.
“People are always talking about animals, plants and trees – which I am so passionate about – but humanity will become the endangered species; people just don’t understand this right now.”
“We have to be here to undo what we have done, so if JUST can spark that conversation, to affect change, I will be a happy man.”
Making Water Cool Again
As anything Smith does, he does so 110%. In terms of JUST Water, that means designing an eye-catching product that is not only eco-friendly, but it’s actually somewhat of a fashion accessory; to be seen carrying JUST water is the in thing.
And thanks to a strong Instagram following (11.2 million followers to be exact), constant support from his father, family and influential friends, JUST is well on its way to not only affecting change but achieving something much simpler: it’s starting a conversation.
“Carrying a JUST bottle is you making a statement; it’s a fashion accessory with meaning,” says Smith.
“People will look at JUST and it’ll spark curiosity; it’ll spark conversation.”
It’s fair to say that Jaden Smith is well on his way to creating a legacy of meaning; of substance. Not only the staple role model for millennials around the world, Smith is also a role model for young men in today’s society.
“In 2019, we all need to be more compassionate; more caring; and more understanding, both men and women,” says Smith.
“We will be the generation to make a difference; with these traits in mind, we will, together, help save the planet. I hope that JUST is just a small platform to set the wheels in motion.”
And when asked how he would like to be remembered, Smith just answers quietly, with a smile:
“As an advocate for sustainability; someone who was able to inspire millions of people.”
JUST Water is available Woolworths and 7-Eleven stores throughout Australia. Suggested retail price is between $2.00 – $3.00.