My Business: Origen Air

Origen Air main image wrapper
UVic grads Susan Blanchet and Andrew Crawford cofounded Origen Air, which offers plant-based air purification solutions to indoor spaces. Photo supplied

UVic alumni are growing a business that uses biologically-engineered plants to remove indoor toxins.


Name(s): Susan Blanchet, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder.

Andrew Crawford, Chief Development Officer and co-founder. 

UVic degrees: Susan Blanchet, BA in psychology, 1997, LLB '02; Andrew Crawford, BA in Economics, 2001. 

My business: Origen Air

Where it’s located: Victoria, BC

What we do: Origen Air offers a plant-based air purification solution that brings nature’s healing powers indoors. We make commercial air purifiers that make you feel good and more productive using the restorative power of nature and the highest quality air purification technologies that we can find. Origen Air is creating healthier indoor spaces, one breath at a time.

Origen Air team
Origen Air’s team is 85% UVic grads and students. From left to right: Connor Gray, Dr. Florentin Wilfart, James Rees (UVic Co-op), Mathew MacKenzie (UVic grad), Lillian Karebi, Duncan McKendrick, Irma Curiel, Andrew Crawford (UVic grad), Jonathan Van Es (UVic grad), Susan Blanchet (UVic grad). Photo supplied

Our team is: 85% proudly UVic students and graduates.

Why we’re unique: We don’t use common house plants. We are the only company in the world using biologically-engineered plants designed to rapidly remove microscopic airborne toxins from indoor living spaces. Origen Air’s purifiers represent the harmonious intersection of nature, technology and modern design for healthier and more productive indoor spaces.

Our ideal customer is: People-focused companies that prioritize staff health, well-being and productivity.

Our business mantra: “Breathe life into your building.”

I wasn’t expecting…. How amazingly hard it would be to test and measure indoor air quality.

Right now, our biggest challenge is: Raising investment capital as a hardware company in Canada.

We’ll know we’re successful when: Our millionth enhanced plant leaves the Origen Air nursery on its way to naturally purify a client's indoor air spaces.

Where to find us: Our website is: origenair.com. Find us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter as @origenair.

Bottom line: We are a part of nature, not apart from nature.


In our new “My Business” column, we profile enterprises run by UVic Alumni. Are you a UVic alum with an interesting business to profile? Email torch@uvic.ca.