Mike Best is working to open his Fate Pacifica store in early 2014 in the former Loonie Lane Dollar Store building on Little Gaetz Avenue in Red Deer.

Mike Best is working to open his Fate Pacifica store in early 2014 in the former Loonie Lane Dollar Store building on Little Gaetz Avenue in Red Deer.

Creating a trendy eco-shop

As Muppet mainstay Kermit the Frog has observed, “It’s not easy being green.”

As Muppet mainstay Kermit the Frog has observed, “It’s not easy being green.”

Mike Best is trying to change this.

The Blackfalds resident operates Fate Pacifica, a retail business that specializes in environmentally sustainable products. Selling both online and face-to-face, it carries everything from bamboo kitchenware to natural soaps and detergents to raw rubber bath toys.

Best believes there’s a growing public appetite for environmentally responsible products.

“We’re finding more and more people are interested in making that shift.” But they often don’t know where to go, and are reluctant to venture into hemp shops and other green stores that many associate with a hippy culture. Best wants to create a trendy eco-shop that mainstream consumers find inviting.

Since commencing sales this spring, Fate Pacifica has exhibited its wares at the Red Deer public market and A Little Piece of U gallery in the city.

It’s currently participating in the Dentoom’s Greenhouses Christmas Market on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is scheduled to open a shop in the refurbished Metropolitan building at 4915 Gaetz Ave. this spring.

All of Fate Pacifica’s products are available online at fatepacifica.com, where visitors will also find environmental information, like how to make their own dishwasher soap tabs.

“We’re going to lead by example,” said Best, explaining that most people want to do the right thing but aren’t always sure how to, or assume it’s too difficult. With a background in sales and marketing, Best has long wanted to make an environmental difference.

“It’s always something that’s been at the forefront of my thought process, how we can, as a society, cut down on needless or disposable items.”

Best became a vegan to reduce his own environmental impact, and hand-picked Fate Pacifica’s inventory.

“I started finding products that I thought I’d like to buy myself, and I just contacted the manufacturer.”

In some cases, he acknowledged, items were chosen primarily for their heath benefits.

“We really want to get people thinking about everything that makes us live better — from eating healthier, exercising and mental well-being.”

Best realizes that a green shop might seem a little out of place in the middle of Alberta’s oil and gas sector. But he sees no reason why the two need to be exclusive of each other.

“We’re trying to eliminate the disposable mentality, where we can use something once or twice and then throw it in the landfill.”

Best even sees the potential for the Fate Pacifica concept to spread to other communities, perhaps as a boutique franchise.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

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