BUSINESS BEAT: TP means ‘terrific product’ for local businessman

Lawyer entrepreneur Jim Legh takes a stab at selling bamboo toilet paper

Victoria lawyer Jim Legh’s new company

Bamboo kind of grew on Jim Legh.

The Victoria lawyer, pub owner and Saanich resident really liked the feel of a new set of towels his wife bought for their Saanich home. He was already impressed with the look and durability of bamboo flooring he had installed there.

It wasn’t long before he started looking into other uses for the plant. Ultimately his search led him to toilet paper. Through a friend in the grocery business, he discovered that bamboo TP was being marketed in Australia. When that company didn’t appear interested in expanding to North America, Legh and his partner sourced the manufacturer in China.

In a matter of months, Legh’s new company, True Earth Paper, has a deal in place to produce Silk’n Soft toilet paper and sales agreements with several high-profile retailers.

“Toilet paper is something everyone in this part of the world uses,” Legh said of his investment in a ‘tree-free’  product. “I figured, why cut down trees for something you’re going to flush down the toilet?”

The paper is 70 per cent bamboo and 30 per cent cotton, sourced from leftover material from cloth production. The carbon footprint of importing the product from China is still less than domestically produced toilet paper from trees, Legh says, since bamboo produces 35 per cent more oxygen and absorbs four times the carbon as a similar-sized stand of hardwood trees.

Given that Silk’n Soft is the new kid on the toilet paper block, sales so far have been brisk, with thousands of packages sold to such stores as Thrifty Foods, Country Grocer, Market on Yates, Peppers, and Oxford Foods, among others. Legh says True Earth plans to focus on niche areas such as organic markets, health food stores and other grocers with a commitment to green retailing.

The paper sells for about the same as other toilet papers. The benefits of bamboo to the environment mean little when consumers are scanning the shelves for toilet paper, Legh acknowledges. That’s where the 30 per cent cotton comes in. “The cotton helps make it soft,” he says.

For more information on Silk’n Soft, visit silknsoft.ca or check them out on Facebook.

Mapping, info firm’s growth through the roof

GeoDigital International Inc., an aerial mapping and information management company specializing in the electrical utility industry, made the Deloitte Technology Fast 50TM list as the 12th fastest-growing tech company in Canada. It recorded more than 1,000 per-cent growth in profit between 2007 and 2011.

GeoDigital, which has a production centre on Topaz Avenue in Victoria, was also 2010 winner of VIATec’s product of the year award for its vegetation management solution.

Thrifty’s food drive underway across chain

Thrifty Foods has kicked off its annual Food for Families drive at all of its 29 stores. The grocer offers customers an opportunity to add $5, $10 or $20 to their order at the till for food vouchers that are transformed into groceries for families in need, through local food banks. The company raised $206,000 with the campaign last year.

Business goings-on around and about town

Canadian army Capt. James Eke has opened Eke Academy of Martial Arts in Esquimalt, specializing in techniques popularized by the late Bruce Lee.

Send your business news to editor@vicnews.com.

Just Posted

Second puppy killed by poisonous mushrooms in Victoria

Springer spaniel puppy died after consuming mushrooms in Fairfield neighbourhood

Western Speedway racing legend ‘The Flying Plumber’ turns 98

Dave Cooper recalls car crashes, his first win, and more

Driver charged in Central Saanich pedestrian’s death appears in court

Victim Kim Ward, 51, died on scene at the August 2018 crash

Nuisance tree will remain on perimeter of Fireman’s Park

Council re-affirm pledge to protecting healthy tree canopy

Saanich safety upgrades, bike lane extension on Finnerty Road near completion

Raised instersection and sidewalks part of safety improvements near UVic

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read