A Canadian company that was started as a joke is now seeing shipments of its product fly off the shelves as the smog crisis in China continues.
The company is Vitality Air and they are selling the finest bottled air taken from Banff National Park, Alberta.
The company has been operating for a year, but only started trading in bulk to China two months ago.
Pollution has become so bad in the industrial giant that a red warning was issued in Beijing for the very first time in November, causing much of the city to shut down and leading to a massive demand for clean air.
— Vitality Air (@vitalityair) December 11, 2015
Speaking to The Telegraph, co-founder Moses Lam said:
Our first shipment of 500 bottles of fresh air were sold in four days.”
He also revealed that a second shipment of 4000 bottles is en route to the pollution-hit nation with most of the units already sold.
— BBC Weather (@bbcweather) December 9, 2015
At 100 yuan (£10) a pop for a 7.7 litre can of Canadian Rocky’s air, it is selling at more than 50 times the cost of bottled water.
The company started when Lam and fellow founder Troy Paquette sold a plastic bag of air in Ebay for less than 50 pence.
When a second bag sold for $160 (£105) the two realised they had stumbled into quite the potential moneymaker, and ramped up the operation.
Despite the company’s growing success Lam has so far maintained a job in a Bank, and he says the company’s method of bottling air by hand is keeping him busy .
It’s very labour intensive but we also wanted to make it a very unique and fun product.
We may have bit off more than we can chew.”
Bottled air may be a novel solution for now, and some people may cash in, but it is not sustainable.