A couple of Canadian entrepreneurs are capitalising on the lack of fresh, clean air in polluted cities by shipping out some of theirs. They’ve come up with a way to can fresh air from the Canadian Rocky Mountains and are now selling it all over the world under the brand ‘Vitality Air’.
“Essentially, we’re selling air,” said Troy Paquette, one of the co-founders, adding that the idea originated as a joke during a random discussion with his friend Moses Lam. They were discussing pollution when they thought it would be neat if they could just send some of their own fresh air to people who didn’t have any. And then they decided to do just that.
The first prototype was a Ziploc bag filled with Banff air, which sold on eBay for 99 cents. So they made a second bag and started a bidding war, and it went for a whopping $168. Inspired by their success, Paquette, 37, and Lam, 30, created a legitimate business in 2014. They started packaging air from the Rockies in canisters of various sizes, priced between $15 and $46. The $15 can contains about 150 inhalations worth of air.
The idea turned out to be a success – Vitality Air has received plenty of interest from buyers in Canada and other countries like China, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, India, Israel, and Dubai. According to Paquette, the historic rise of air pollution in Beijing has led to an increase in their sales. “The air is just so bad that people want it now,” he said. “They don’t want one can.”
Vitality Air is currently in talks with distributors in China and other countries, who actually want to stock the product in local retail stores. “It’s something we never expected in our wildest dreams,” Paquette said. Inspired by the huge demand, they’ve also added bottled oxygen to their line of products.
When asked about the exact process behind packaging air, Lam refused to reveal the details. “That’s sort of our trade secret, but I can assure you we don’t just sit outside and wave our hands in the air,” he said. “It’s a tedious process, we’re out there for roughly 20 hours capturing air.” He did mention that they bring back fresh air in bulk and bottle it in a factory.
Vitality Air isn’t the first product of its kind – we’ve seen plenty of other entrepreneurs trying to make a successful business out of selling air in a can. Chinese billionaire Chen Guangbiao sold canned fresh air in 2012 to raise awareness about the environment. About a year later we heard about this French student who made huge profits selling ‘Air de Montcuq’ – fresh air ‘harvested’ from his hometown of Montcuq.
And earlier this year, there were these Siberian entrepreneurs who marketed air from a ‘Yeti’s Cave’ that was supposedly more powerful than Viagra!
Photos: Vitality Air/Facebook