Thirsty? Give Back With MAKA.
By: Casha Doemland
Derived from the Nahuatl word for giving, MAKA X MEXICO stays true to its Mexican roots. From showcasing parts of Mexican culture in the design and supporting local indigenous cultures, to producing a plastic bottle that decomposes in the trash, this conscious water company transcends the definition of doing good.
“MAKA approached us with the idea to base the visual concept on the tzinitzcan,” shares Daniela Garza, creative partner at Anagrama, in reference to the majestic, green-feathered bird. “Of course we liked the bird idea, but we needed another strong iconic element to create a unique brand. So, we brought a utilitarian look for the layout of the label and a colorful background on the back of the bottle.”
The larger water bottle at 500 mL features a white label on the back with a barcode, the recycling information, "MAKA" in a clean text, and the tzinitzcan, which is symbolic of Mexico because its feathers match the country’s colors. On the front, abstract swirls in contrasting shades of blue, red and tan are printed on the lower half of the bottle. Additionally, the smaller, rounder bottle serves as the epitome of simplicity. Front and center on the upper half of the bottle is a blue, orange or red circle with "MAKA x LA Comunidad Indígena" in text and the tzinitzcan symbol in white.
Next, determining the shape of the bottle, which proved to be the most challenging aspect of the project. "We designed the bottle looking for a modern aesthetic that was also functional," adds Garza. "We tested various prototypes before moving on because we wanted to be sure the bottle looked amazing."
On top of looking great, MAKA values sustainability and has created bottles that are 100% biodegradable. "The plastic we use for MAKA is PET with an organic additive named Eco-One™, that allows the bacterium to dissolve the plastic once it is placed in the garbage or a landfill," states a representative from MAKA. Thus, cutting the time in a landfill from a handful of centuries to just several years.
MAKA also donates $1 Mexican Peso per bottle to help finance water, education and empowerment projects in the Nahua districts. MAKA is also currently working in the state of San Luis Potosi with General Directorate of Indigenous Education to provide basic education to those in need while still maintaining the culture and language as there are currently 1.4 million Nahuatl speakers in Mexico (it remains the most widely spoken Indigenous language).
All in all, MAKA x MEXICO is a genuine representation of its name because the company not only continuously gives back to the people of the Nahau community and the planet but places a high and transparent value for both.
LA-based and Georgia-bred, Casha Doemland spends her days crafting poetry and freelance writing. Over the last two years, she’s been published in a variety of publications and zines around the world. When she’s not nerding out with words, you can catch her watching a classic film, trekking around the globe or hanging out with a four-pound Pomeranian.