Fair Trade brand Karma Cola uses cola nuts ethically sourced from a small village in Sierra Leone.
The brand has become a global ‘feel good’ success, having sold over 12,000,000 drinks in 23 countries, with a percentage of proceeds going into the Karma Cola fund.
To date the fund has been used to support farming communities in 8 villages, build a bridge, pay for five teachers and send 75 girls to school, among other local initiatives. It certainly feels good to have be part of this story!
Artist Beck Wheeler worked with designers from Special Group and their client All Good Organics to produce the Karma Cola branding, a project that gave her the opportunity to immerse herself African culture.
‘When I work on a job I like to surround myself with reference material relating to the job and relevant music to listen to,’ says Beck. ‘I love African dance and music, so this job was a dream for me. I listened to music from Sierra Leone – where the drink’s cola nuts come from – to get into the mood and then started to look into African deities.’
She based her first drawings on Mami Wata, an African water spirit who embodies both good and evil. The image went through many reincarnations before evolving into the final bottle illustration, with Beck working hard to give the ‘evil’ side of the spirit a cheeky and mischievous look that would fit the brief.
‘We wanted to make drinks that not only looked good and tasted good, but that were doing good too, giving back to growers in the developing world.”
Karma Cola creators Chris Morrison, Simon Coley and Matt Morrison
Beck really enjoyed the collaborative nature of the project.
‘Part of the success of this project was that everyone contributed something. Our meetings were held around a table with client and creatives sitting together and the project developed organically out of those meet ups.’
Since the original product launch, the range has expanded to include a cherry cola, chilli cola and most recently a sugar-free variant.
The Karma Cola fund continues to grow with the success of the brand, with local village chiefs and elders having full control over which projects to divert funding towards.
Find out more about the Karma Cola story on the brand website
All Good Organics
Best Awards Purple Pin
Best Awards Gold
Best Awards Silver
3×3 Distinguished Merit