The following article was featured in the Friday 8th August issue of the Tri-City News.
Munu Hicken-Gaberria is
president and CEO of LFT Group, a Port Moody-based company making Live for Tomorrow environmentally friendly household-cleaning products.
Packaging is also critical
By Lara Gerrits – The Tri-City News
Published: August 07, 2008 6:00 PM
Updated: August 08, 2008
A Port Moody entrepreneur is making sure his new line of household-cleaning products is environmentally friendly — right down to the ink printed on bottlelabels.
Munu Hicken-Gaberria, president and CEO of the Live For Tomorrow (LFT) Group, launched last month a line of eco-friendly laundry detergents that are phosphate-free.
And while that doesn’t make the cleaners unique in the growing market of environmentally-friendly products, what does is LFT’s Bring It Back program that encourages consumers to return glass bottle packaging to the original retailer
to save two pounds of greenhouse gases per bottle.
But the “biggest selling point,” said Hicken-Gaberria, is that the liquid and powder laundry detergents and fabric softeners are manufactured in Richmond and shipped no further than Metro Vancouver. “There is very little trucking involved,” he said of his “think global, act local” business.
After moving to Port Moody from the U.K. in January 2006, Hicken-Gaberria said he was taken aback by the natural beauty of the province and wanted to do something to preserve it. Already a businessman — in the U.K. he established Lords Formal Wear, a menswear company that grew to a national chain of 30 outlets — he was intrigued with the idea of creating a product with environmentally-neutral packaging while shopping.
During a visit to a big-box electronics retailer, Hicken-Gaberria was stunned that a memory stick — smaller than the size of a typical eraser — had three layers of packaging. “A lot of products think about what goes into them,” he said. “We’ve actuallytaken it a step further and thought about how do they get used and what happens to that product, and I mean packaging as well.”
While the glass bottles can be put in the blue bin for recycling, returning it back to the original point of purchase means the bottles can be sanitized, re-labeled and re-used. “To met Metro Vancouver’s Zero Waste Challenge, the only
element of waste is the cap, which can be recycled,” he said, noting even the label is printed with vegetable-based ink.
Live For Tomorrow laundry products — which include powder laundry, liquid laundry (unscented), liquid fabric softener (unscented and lavender or lemongrass scented) — are available at Stong’s Market, Drive Organics and
Donald’s Market in Vancouver and will be on Tri-City shelves soon.
Meanwhile, more household cleaners are in the development stage, includingtoilet bowl cleaner, dishwashing liquid and glass cleaner.
• See www.live4tomorrow.com for more information.