“He could sell bottled air to the Chinese” sounds worryingly like something one of those bullshitting candidates on The Apprentice might say.
But this guy has shown his incredible entrepreneurial spirit by doing just that.
Former public schoolboy Leo De Watts came up with the ingenious idea to bottle up clean air from the British countryside and send it people in smog-plagued Beijing and Shanghai in China.
His team farms the fresh air from the likes of Dorset, Somerset, Wales, Wiltshire and Yorkshire by running through the fields and gathering up the air using specially designed fishing nets.
The whole thing sounds incredibly bizarre but it’s proven incredibly lucrative for De Watts, who charges £80 per bottle and is raking in the cash by the thousands for his product, with each area’s air having its own unique aroma, apparently. Lovely.
Leo, who is from Gillingham, Dorset but now lives in Hong Kong, asks friends and family members to go out on land which is as far away from pollution as possible to collect the beautiful air.
The 27-year-old runs an events company as his day job but is making a tasty bit on the side with his new venture, named Aethaer.
Speaking to Country and Town House, De Watts explained:
There’s really a market for this. We’ve just started, but have already sold 100 jars to a factory in China. We’ve seen similar places in Canada and the US doing it – people see it as a display of luxury, or a piece of art, or even something to use.
For me – and my family, who’re involved – we think it’s ridiculous, so this is a way of highlighting an issue with pollution and so on. In some parts of the world, there’s not much care for pollutants, so this is a way of actually drawing attention to it.
We’re going to use some of the profits for environmental campaigns. That’s what this is – if people really want to buy clean(er) air for £80 a go, they can.
Given that, once unbottled, the experience of inhaling the fresh-air for the consumer lasts just a few seconds, it’s pretty incredible that this lad’s managing to shift bottles for £80 a pop. Fair play to him!