All in all, this product is made from a very trustworthy company, albeit one that uses a production process that cannot be seen as sustainable. While the use of recycled scrap steel can be seen as a major positive, one has to question why they do not rely on this as their only source of manufacturing materials. Instead, their use of raw materials extracted from other countries places a burden on the environment that prevents me from rating this product any higher.
As the title implies, this product is made entirely of stainless steel. The material of stainless steel is very sustainable, as stainless steel is 100% recyclable and incredibly durable. This helps contribute to a viable production process, as the materials from old Hydroflasks can simply be reused in the production of new ones. Despite this, recycled materials are not the only ingredients used in the making of this product. In addition to the reused stainless steel, a large amount of material is procured through the extraction and purification of raw materials sourced from a variety of other countries such as Australia, South Africa, and the Philippines. The extraction of these materials causes a number of negative environmental effects in the areas in which they are mined, and it is the workers as well as the locals in the area that end up feeling the impact. I can only give half credit for the materials used in this product as there are positives as well as negatives. It would be much more sustainable if Hydroflask were to produce these bottles exclusively with recycled materials, especially since there is such an abundance of scrap stainless steel.
Hydroflask outsources its production to the country of China. As mentioned before, the production cycle places a heavy environmental burden on the countries whose raw materials are being extracted. In addition to the environmental damage done to the local area through the mining of these resources, there is a steep energy cost brought about by all the machines used in this process. Moreover, the transportation of these raw materials to China in order to be processed requires a large amount of fuel and natural resources. According to a report I found on the transportation cycle, "It takes about one ton of fuel to transport one ton of ore". In order to meet Hydroflask’s steep production demands, countless tons of oil are required. All in all, the process of raw materials being harvested and transported in the making of this product result in a manufacturing cycle that is not very sustainable.
Once the raw/recycled materials reach China, they are processed by a manufacturing company named Laikoe. While China itself is not exactly known for its sustainable or employee friendly production methods, everything I have been able to find on Laikoe indicates that its workers are “paid a fair wage and have a good working environment”. Relative to many other manufacturing related horror stories from workers in China, it was a pleasant surprise to see that this company appears to be reputable. Moreover, the company has a history of making adjustments in order to protect the employees of its manufacturing team. Early on in the company’s history, it was discovered that lead was being exposed to the employees of Laikoe due to an element Hydroflask’s production process. While this did not pose a risk to their consumers and the situation was still technically legal, Hydroflask still took it upon themselves to change this. At the time it resulted in a loss of millions of dollars, but in the long run it made for a much safer work environment. It may seem like such a small thing for Hydroflask to do this, but in situations like these many companies care only about their profits.