"They’re Canadian, and the spring is actually super close to my house, so that was originally what made me say, ‘Wow, this is really cool,’" the 22-year-old Ontario native tells Billboard of Flow, which is packaged in an eco-friendly carton. "I forgot that water comes from springs and wells, like, in the ground. [laughs] It felt so grounding and the company felt so grounded. Obviously, they are a real, amazing, greener alternative to plastic water packages. I really liked that. And I want to do everything I can to be part of loving and saving the Earth instead of ruining it."
The "Wonder" star, who is a self-proclaimed "snob about water" because of Flow, reveals that the naturally alkaline beverage was his drink of choice throughout his hugely successful 2019 world tour. "Everyone has just become obsessed with it," he says. "All my friends and everybody who comes into work is like, ‘Where’s the Flow at?’"
"I’m a huge water drinker," he continues. "Those liter bottles, I’ll drink, like, six or seven of them a day. Water systems out of your tap, especially in America, a lot of those are not good. It’s tough. I feel very lucky to be a part of a company like this, because what they do is amazing."
For those who are interested in trying Flow, Mendes suggests the cucumber and mint flavor. "It tastes like somebody just dropped a cucumber in it," he jokes.
In addition to the campaign, the star's Shawn Mendes Foundation teamed up with Flow to award grants to young people and youth-focused organizations working on water conservation and clean water access. The Flow & SMF Wonder Grantees include 16-year-old Canadian clean water activist Autumn Peltier, nonprofit organization The Thirst Project, Venezuelean water conservationist Hasler and Bangladeshi environmentalist and social entrepreneur Shah.
Throughout the coming weeks, each grantee will do a takeover of the @shawnfoundation Instagram to share more about their work, including current projects and educational resources. "It’s been a really beautiful thing, especially because I’ve been able to be in touch with a few of the grantees and see how it has kind of changed their life, and even something so small can be such a big thing for some people," Mendes says of the grants.
As the need to make drastic environmental change becomes more urgent by the day, Mendes says he feels hopeful about the future -- especially as he sees a rise in awareness among his peers and the younger generation as a whole. "It's really wonderful, because I feel like in culture and in all kinds of ways, the Earth is becoming human-focused, and saving the Earth and standing for the Earth is actually becoming super healing for humans and humankind," the singer shares. "We’re all focused on the Earth and helping save it, and it’s actually helping us focus on ourselves and save ourselves and get more in touch with true nature and the beauty that comes with it."
"We’re getting dangerously close to a place where it’s going to be hard to come back from, but it’s amazing because while in a lot of ways it’s getting worse, the awareness around climate change and using green products is so much more than it used to be, even 10 years ago, and I feel positive," he added.
For those who want to incorporate eco-friendly habits into their everyday life, Mendes says to do your research. "The thing that has been most helpful in my life is really just looking up the products and making sure I’m using products from companies that are truly green and truly working toward a greener future."
"Also, just reusing," he adds. "I think we’re all very quick to go out and buy plastic. I know, especially in America, they give you options on Postmates. You can order no straws or no cutlery and you have the option. It’s just, sometimes, I think we’re unaware and a little lazy, and we don’t even bother clicking on it even though it’s right there in front of us. Just tuning into those little things helps, because if all of us do a little, it can add up to a lot."
Flow Alkaline Spring Water is available in a 12-pack here, and a flavor variety pack here.