Sustainability in the Exchange

Keep it green with Exchange District businesses that are leaders in sustainability.

It’s almost Earth Day, a time of year to consider our environmental impact and the steps we are taking to live more sustainably. In the Exchange District, sustainability is a community effort, and we’re proud to house organizations that are committed to creating a greener world for everyone.

For these businesses, sustainability is not a fad; it’s a way of being. Discover sustainability in the Exchange.

Botanical Paperworks

Botanical Paperworks is a company on a mission to reduce waste and bring new life into the world. They craft zero-waste products by using recycled paper to make new seed papers that, when planted, bloom into flowers, herbs, or vegetables. 

Founded by Heidi Reimer-Epp in 1997, Botanical Paperworks started by using classroom paper waste to create new paper. In the early days, they sold mostly retail stationery and have since evolved into a seed paper company that serves the wedding, memorial, and promotional products industry. Recently, they’ve expanded their offerings to include handmade soap, hand-poured candles, and promotional gift kits.

Driven by core values of environmental protection, customer focus, people and ethics, quality, and community impact, Botanical Paperworks is in the pursuit of making a difference. Their sustainable practices expand beyond their products to include sustainable packaging practices, waste diversion through recycling, composting, repurposing, and smart water practices.

A steward of the community, they give back to organizations like Oceana Canada and PFLAG Canada, organize team litter clean-ups and recycling drives, and offer mentorship programs and work placements. They’re committed to an equitable, diverse, and accessible workplace that leaves space for their team to flourish and grow.

In 2019, Botanical Paperworks became Climate Smart Certified, which allows them to measure, reduce, and report their greenhouse gas emissions and corporate carbon footprint. In 2020, they were certified as a Women Business Enterprise by the Women Business Enterprises Canada Council (WBE Canada), Canada’s largest third-party certifier of women-owned and operated businesses. 

Botanical Paperworks is an innovative leader in sustainability and community impact that’s doing its part to cultivate a greener, more sustainable future.

Check out their gorgeous seed paper products, including a special Earth Day collection, or learn more about their mission by visiting them online:

Or in store at 111 Pacific Avenue.

Common Manufacturing

Common Manufacturing is a clothing company that creates sustainable processes and quality, well-crafted apparel. In direct opposition to fast fashion, Common Manufacturing designs classic, enduring products that hold a spot in your wardrobe for years to come. Common Manufacturing (CMFG) is a product-focused company, not a brand-focused company, meaning creating quality products is why they’re here.

Owner Andrew Doerksen started CMFG after learning about consumer fashion processes while attending university. Inspired to create more intentional and ethical apparel, he set out to learn as much as he could about the industry and apparel construction. In 2015, CMFG was formed, and they have been making quality clothing ever since.

CMFG designs, constructs, and sells each piece out of its space on McDermot Ave. Each piece is designed with a timeless silhouette in mind, incorporating superior fabric and construction. The fabric is sourced from reputable mills using natural fibres, the buttons are from Iris Ltd. in Japan, and the threads are from Cansew in Montreal.

The idea is to close the gap between process and consumer, meaning transparency is key. Andrew encourages people to visit the shop to see the care put into their garments. You can also participate in their innovative Take-Back Collection program, which asks customers to return used CMFG pieces for a $25 credit towards their next purchase. All profits from this collection go to the Clean Clothes Campaign, an advocacy group that fights for the fair wages and safe working conditions of apparel workers worldwide.

Learn more about Common Manufacturing, and check out their latest collection online:

Or visit them on the 4th floor at 290 McDermot Avenue.

Hair Co. Exchange

Hair Co. Exchange is a vibrant eco-luxury salon in the heart of the Exchange District. Alongside a full-service salon, Hair Co. has created an inviting community space that encourages connection, collaboration, confidence, and consciousness. They cultivate this by focusing on sustainable practices that minimize environmental impact.

Hair Co. participates in the Green Circle salon program, which enables salons to recycle around 95% of their waste. As a certified sustainable salon, Hair Co. recycles items such as hair clippings, foils used for lightening services, and excess colour, giving them a new life. For instance, the excess colour separates into water and oil; they clean the water and return it to the water system while converting the oil into fuel. They clean and repurpose used hair foils into recycled bicycles or aluminum sheets. They even compost hair clippings or use them to soak up oil spills in the ocean!

In addition to their recycling program, Hair Co. further commits to other sustainable salon practices. They use low-flow showerheads in their hair-washing stations which decreases the total amount of water used. They also choose their partners carefully, ensuring that the products they carry in the salon are eco-friendly. They use Davines, a professional product line that is B Corp certified, ensuring that everything from their packaging to how the company is governed is taking sustainability into account. Kevin Murphy is another eco-friendly product line they use, which incorporates repurposed ocean waste plastic into their product packaging.

Co-founder Megan McGhie believes, “As a business, sustainable practices are so important. We believe that part of our responsibility of having a business is to also use it as a force for good. That means not only how much we recycle and diminish our environmental impact but also how we contribute to our community and neighbourhood. If we can use this salon as a place where people come to feel good and positively impact their lives (customers and employees!), then we’re doing our part.”

Check out Hair Co. Exchange online:

Or visit their salon at 139 Market Avenue.

Peg City Car Co-op

Peg City Car Co-op is a local consumer co-op that provides meaningful and sustainable alternatives to car ownership. As they say, “We get people moving in a way that’s convenient, affordable, and sustainable.”

Founded in 2011 by five volunteers, Peg City provides people with access to car-sharing services to get them where they need to go. Car-sharing means members have access to vehicles only when they need them, without the costs associated with vehicle ownership. The result is a flexible model that is affordable and reduces carbon emissions.

Peg City Car Co-op’s impact extends beyond the individual membership benefits. They estimate that one carsharing vehicle takes as many as 15 vehicles off the road, reducing carbon emissions and decreasing traffic congestion. Peg City cites 75% of its members as using alternative transportation methods to get to work, such as bussing or biking. They also found that people who car-share reduce their individual carbon emissions by a whopping 30-50%! Their model of sustainability further extends to their business practices. As a co-op, their members help shape how they do things, creating community along the way.

In Manitoba, transportation is the largest contributor to Greenhouse gas emissions and represents almost half of households’ personal emissions. The Peg City Car Co-op model directly contributes to lowering these emissions and creating a more sustainable future.

Peg City Car Co-op has over 130 Fix (round-trip) and Flo (free-floating) vehicles available throughout Winnipeg that members can access anytime.

Learn more about Peg City Car Co-op or become a member:

Check out their Earth Month promotion:

Or visit their office at 402-460 Main Street.