Say Hello to Wes Koch of the Soap Exchange!

For the past 22 years The Soap Exchange in Victoria has been providing our community with eco friendly cleaning supplies and body care products that come in refillable bottles and are 100% biodegradable! 
The Soap Exchange is a fabulous resource and we can thank Wes Koch for this!
Hemp and Company and Wes go way back and we are so pleased to have him as one of our
Eco Hero Nominees for 2015.
Read on to learn about how the Soap Exchange got started and find out what Wes would be doing if he wasn't helping us be green!


 What specific event put me on the the path to sustainability?

I can't say there was any specific event.  More likely a series of events. Before entering into the world of small business, I was engaged in a career that seemed, at the time, suitable but "meaningless". I was always on the lookout for something better suited to my values, such as they were at the time (we are taking the early "90's).  Not much attention was being given to sustainability or environmental issues at that time (at least not on the prairies).  I've always maintained that the business found me, rather than I found it.  Although simple in it's approach, at the time, it was cutting edge.  That's one of the things that appealed to me...the simplicity of it.  This and the fact that ANYONE could participate in it.  So, I "massaged" the concept, made a few "tweeks" and brought the idea back to my home town, thinking if it could survive anywhere, Victoria was the place.  The rest, as they say, is history (May 1 will be the start of my 22nd year).

If I weren't doing this kind of work, what would I be doing?

That is a difficult question.  I would have to say it would definitely be another social and sustainable enterprise.  I've always dreamt of living in a developing country (somewhere warmer) and perhaps being able to develop sustainable practices ie waste water management, recycling programs and the like.  Something we in Canada take for granted as we have the wealth and manpower to sustain it.

Either that or running an Eco coffee house on a beach somewhere.

Who is my Eco-Hero?

Another difficult question.  I would have to pluralize that and say that my Eco-Heroes are each and every one of my customers.  Silently and anonymously they do their little bit to help our local environment.  They go out of their way to support small businesses with Eco values like their own (not just The Soap Exchange) despite the "inconvenience of it all".  No fan fare, no recognition.  They just know they are making smart choices for themselves and their families and expect nothing in return.  That is something to admire, respect and emulate.

 What change would I like most to see in world?

The obvious response for me is global harmony and global parody.  There is way to much disparity in this world of ours. Too many "haves" and way too many "have nots".  Every human being should receive the same amount of freedom and quality of life, regardless of ethnic origin, social class,religion or geographic location.  The human race must learn, somehow, better ways to co-operate with one another, which in turn would hopefully result in a better understanding and tolerance of our differences.  We are all born into this world as equals.  Sadly, this is not maintained throughout many parts of our world.

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