A young Port Moody entrepreneur is hoping the lessons he learns about the business world will help save the world’s oceans — one cotton shopping bag at a time.
Paxton Moore spent much of the first four years of his life residing near beaches in Panama and Greece. Some of the things he saw there, like mounds of trash and plastics bobbing in the waves or soiling the pristine vistas, scared and upset him.
He told his mom, Shelley, he wanted to do something about it. “This is really a big problem,” Paxton said to her.
He picked up what he could on his own and organized clean-up parties. Even after his family moved to Port Moody eight years ago, the desire to make a difference didn’t diminish.
Recently, Paxton launched his own small venture selling organic cotton satchels directly online, and supplying them to local merchants like Olive the Best in Newport Village, and Pomme Market in Port Coquitlam.
He said every reusable bag he sells likely means dozens of plastic sacks won’t make their way into the environment.
But becoming a pre-teen entrepreneur wasn’t easy.
Paxton said he spent a couple of years researching the plastics problem and possible solutions. He investigated the properties and efficacies of various alternatives then sought out suppliers in China and India and ordered samples to test himself.
Paxton decided bags made of fair trade cotton that’s been certified by the Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) as ecologically and socially responsible was the way to go.
He had to work out the economics of his supply chain as well, factor in costs and profit margins for himself and potential retailers, come up with a name and logo for his product and develop a marketing plan.
There were times, Paxton said, he’d rather be playing soccer, building Lego or drawing monsters in his sketch pad but he stuck with it.
His mom, Shelley, said she was encouraged by Paxton’s dedication to his cause. “I wanted to see the commitment from his end,” she said. “It’s taken a lot of his time.”
With his business plan in place, it came time for Paxton to present his Mecobags to local retailers that might be interested in putting the product on their shelves.
He said the prospect of walking into a store to pitch to an adult made him nervous but as much as he wanted them to buy into his vision for a small solution, he also wanted to educate them about the problem.
Daniela Hammond, who owns Olive the Best, said she was inspired by Paxton’s concern about plastic and garbage in the world and wanted to support his cause.
Paxton said the meetings get easier every time out.
Shelley Moore said she can see her son maturing and becoming more confident as he gives life to his venture.
Paxton knows a lot is at stake — for his own business aspirations and for the planet. “I know I’m just one person, but if other people join in, it can really make a difference,” he said.
To learn more about Mecobags, go to www.mecobag.com.