Kelping Hands, a new seaweed-based hand sanitizer, is available from the Vancouver Aquarium’s online store for $14.99. Proceeds support Ocean Wise and the Vancouver Aquarium.
In the spring of 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic set in around the world creating global shortages of hand sanitizer and wreaking havoc on institutions like the Vancouver Aquarium, 25-year-old scientist Majid Hajibeigy started thinking.
Majid is the founder and owner of Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds, a boutique seaweed aquaculture business with roots on the far west coast of Vancouver Island in a tiny town called Bamfield (population: 179).
Through his business, Majid strives to raise the profile of seaweed as a superfood, eco-friendly animal feed, and long-term carbon sink. And now, as the key ingredient in a new hand sanitizer product.
Kelping Hands is a brand-new, pharmaceutical-grade, hand sanitizer made from a species of seaweed found on the west coast of British Columbia. It is believed to be the only seaweed-based hand sanitizer product currently on the market in Canada and the US.
“Our hand sanitizer is more moisturizing than drug store brands because seaweed is packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, which rehydrates your skin and adds a layer of protection,” said Majid.
Majid poured months into working out the logistics of creating the hand sanitizer and worked with Wayward Distillery on Vancouver Island to produce the alcohol. But he doesn’t take credit for coming up with the unique formula.
“The recipe for our seaweed hand sanitizer was given to me by a seaweed company on the island of Guernsey in the UK,” said Majid. “I asked Guernsey Seaweed if I could use their formula if I donated a portion of the profits to an ocean charity. They got back to me within 15 minutes agreeing and encouraging me to proceed. I heard about the struggles facing the Vancouver Aquarium knew that is where I wanted to direct the profits.”
Majid grew up in Richmond, British Columbia, and as a child visited the Vancouver Aquarium frequently. Now that he has his own seaweed aquaculture business, he is a member of the Ocean Wise Seafood program, a not-for-profit that strives to support the growth of sustainable fisheries. Both Ocean Wise Seafood and the Vancouver Aquarium are initiatives of Ocean Wise Conservation Organization.
Kelping Hands seaweed sanitizer is unique in that it smells pleasant without the need for oils and perfumes and leaves your hands soft.
In addition, it’s a low-carbon-footprint hand sanitizer option. Instead of using synthetically produced glycerin like most other sanitizers (which are made from high-carbon-footprint soybean, coconut or palm oils) the gel property of Kelping Hands sanitizer comes from locally harvested seaweed and is produced right here in BC. What’s more, seaweed aquaculture filters and removes carbon from the atmosphere, providing benefits to the planet.
“Each purchase supports our beloved Vancouver Aquarium and Ocean Wise, which is something I’m very proud of” added Majid.
With the ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 upon us, it’s time to stock up on your hand sanitizer. Kelping Hands, a seaweed-based hand sanitizer, is available for sale at the Vancouver Aquarium online store starting at $14.99 with proceeds benefiting Ocean Wise and the Vancouver Aquarium.