In 2011, I biked over 2000 km on a cycling tour with thirteen other women on The Otesha Project to teach communities about environmental sustainability and social justice. After delivering over 30 performances about how to reduce unnecessary plastics in our everyday life and prevent human rights abuses, I wanted to put those solutions into practice and decided to make my own bath and body products with fair trade and ethically sourced ingredients, using only plastic-free and reusable packaging.
In 2014, in the middle of a maternity leave from teaching, I transformed my basement into a soap-making studio and joined a community of like-minded individuals who were starting a farmers market.
Starting with tiny batches of only 7 bars at a time, I made, cut and packaged each batch myself, printing my own labels and learning the ins and outs of business as I went. I found a used bicycle trailer, and started towing my entire market setup back and forth to the Esquimalt Farmers Market each Thursday, began stocking local shops in Victoria with my soaps, and I’m now selling from my online shop at www.wychburyave.com, and at over 12 retailers on Vancouver Island.
My dream began as a mission to show others how to enjoy the products we love while reducing waste and caring for people and the planet at the same time. I continue to provide vegan, palm oil-free, and fair trade products through my shop and educate others through workshops and daily insights on social media. Come join me! Let’s plant those seeds and be the change together.
WHAT WE DO
Melissa Labelle - Owner & Maker
At Wychbury Ave we strive to provide bath and body products that promote healthy living and encourage sustainable environmental practices. All of our products are palm-free, made in small batches from scratch with fair trade and ethically sourced materials. Recognizing that the essential oil industry has negative effects on our natural resources and excess use of oils is not beneficial to our health, we choose to use essential oils in our soaps that are not from plant species at risk and only in small quantities when appropriate. All of our fragrances are paraben and phthalate-free and used well below standard concentrations to provide lightly scented products that promote joy and well-being.
NOT JUST SOAP
Wychbury Ave donates 25 cents from each bar soap purchase to organizations that support women in need.