Local ecommerce millionaire – who wishes to remain anonymous – is banking thousands of pounds a week, selling literally “fresh air” to the Chinese super-elite, for as much as £100 a jar.
More than 90% of sales, go to the polluted cities of Shanghai and Beijing, where the fashionable elite will happily pay a hefty sum for a few seconds of inhalation.
He retails three distinct varieties: “Cobble Landing” Air, £60 (¥575 CNY) a jar. “End of The Brigg”, at £80 (¥765 CNY) a jar. And the rarest, “6am Glen Gardens” at an eye-watering £100 (¥960 CNY) a jar. All prices are 500ml jars, with carriage on top.
With a sideways wry smile to our reporter, he said he also sold larger jars which were “more cost efficient.” When asked about the huge disparity in prices, he said: “I’m not getting up at 6am in the morning without being very well rewarded.”
A second-tier of customer will purchase the jars and never open them, retaining them instead for their novelty value. The air is collected, and held in makeshift nets which are briskly walked around to facilitate a representative air sample.