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Reaching for the Starlings: 15 eco entrepreneurs to watch in 2021

With more businesses becoming eco-minded and looking for effective ways to help reduce their carbon footprint, we are shining a spotlight on entrepreneurs that have taken major steps to not only become more sustainable themselves, but to encourage others to do the same.

Along with our partners Starling Bank, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards prides itself on supporting exciting entrepreneurs making waves in the UK. Here are our 15 most exciting eco entrepreneurs to watch in 2021.

Rowan Minkley & Robert Nicoll, Chip[s] Board

Rowan Minkley & Robert Nicoll - Chip[s] Board

Rowan Minkley and Robert Nicoll are the co-founders of Chip[s] Board, a manufacturer producing a range of bioplastic materials from food waste that are durable, versatile, recyclable and biodegradable. Parblex™ Plastics are translucent pure or fibre reinforced bioplastics with surface finish and durability for fashion and interior design.

Duncan Grierson, Clim8

Duncan Grierson - Clim8

Duncan Grierson is the founder of Clim8, an investment platform and app focused on sustainable businesses. Clim8 allows people to use their savings to make an impact without compromising their eco values. With more than 15,000 users, Clim8 allows people to invest in projects and businesses operating in clean energy, clean tech, clean water, smart mobility, sustainable food production and recycling.

Abbie Morris & James Omisakin, Compare Ethics

Abbie Morris & James Omisakin - Compare Ethics

Abbie Morris and James Omisakin are the co-founders of Compare Ethics, a platform that enables consumers to verify their favourite products and brands’ sustainability claims. It empowers them to make better choices and support brands that lead by example when it comes to sustainability and transparency. It verifies brands and products based on 10 different points including; circular economy, manufacturing, supply chain and resources and produces a three-stage ranking.

Tom Kay

Tom Kay - Finisterre

Tom Kay is the founder of Finisterre, a brand of functional and sustainable clothing and accessories for those that share a love of the sea. Launched in 2003 with an innovative fleece designed to keep out chilled winds, Finisterre is now a certified B Corp operating from its cliff-top workshop in Cornwall, producing full lines of men’s and women’s outdoor clothing and accessories.

Tom Meades - Gomi Design

Tom Meades is the founder of Gomi Design, a design company that transforms waste materials into circular tech products. Built with a mission to ‘rethink the future of sustainable living’, Gomi launched after creating the world’s first portable speaker from non-recyclable waste that would have otherwise been sent to landfill or incinerated.

Richard Ballard & Steven Dring, Growing Underground

Richard Ballard & Steven Dring - Growing Underground

Richard Ballard and Steven Dring are the co-founders of Growing Underground, an innovative agricultural company growing fresh microgreens and salad leaves 33 metres below the streets of Clapham. Growing Underground uses hydroponics and LED technology to continually grow crops all-year round using 70% less water than traditional farming.

Nishant Parekh - Kapdaa

Nishant Parekh is the founder of Kapdaa, a sustainable stationery brand that uses unwanted and unused materials from fashion and homeware designers. Otherwise destined for landfill, Kapdaa upcycles offcuts to create unique, handmade notebooks. All other materials are sourced sustainably and the business helps to foster the concept of upcycling and traditional craftsmanship.

Maria Rodriguez, Kind Bag

Maria Rodriguez - Kind Bag

Maria Rodriguez is the founder of Kind Bag, a brand of shoulder bags made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. She launched the business to empower consumers to live an eco-conscious lifestyle without compromising on sense of style. Its large range of designs means a Kind Bag can fit with anyone’s unique, individual sense of style.

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Matan Gilan - Panda LDN

Matan Gilan is the founder of Panda LDN, a luxury homeware brand of products made using bamboo, the world’s most sustainable natural material. Launched in 2015, Panda LDN creates duvets, pillows, mattress toppers, towels and accessories that ‘feel incredible without costing the earth’ in more ways than one.

Geryn Evans, Project Blu

Geryn Evans - Project Blu

Geryn Evans is the founder of Project Blu, an eco-friendly brand helping pet owners to reduce their carbon ‘pawprint’. Project Blu transforms ocean plastic, recycled fishing nets and recycled leather into a range of premium, Italian-made dog and cat beds and accessories. Since launching in 2019, the business has converted more than 6 million plastic bottles into products.

Adam Huttly - Red-Inc

Adam Huttly is the founder of Red-Inc, the UK’s first certified B Corp that offers sustainable office supplies. In addition to providing sustainable office supplies to the likes of the WWF and Ella’s Kitchen, Red-Inc has planted more than 21,000 trees and protected more than 8,000 acres of rainforest since launching in 2008.

Kalkidan Legesse, Sancho's

Kalkidan Legesse - Sancho’s

Kalkidan Legesse is the founder of Sancho’s, a sustainable fashion and lifestyle brand based in Exeter. Sancho’s creates everything from clothing and jewellery to beauty products and homeware, each made with vegan, recycled or organic materials. The business has secured nine separate certifications for its sustainable and ethical business practices.

Alborz Bozorgi & Ellenor McIntosh, Twipes

Ellenor McIntosh & Alborz Bozorgi - Twipes

Ellenor McIntosh and Alborz Bozorgi are the co-founders of Twipes, a range of truly flushable and biodegradable wipes. Made from wood pulp (the same as recycled paper), Twipes contain absolutely no micro plastic or harsh chemicals which allows them to start degrading within 45 minutes and fully disperse in water within three hours.

Tom Carr & Richard Pearce, Verto Homes

Tom Carr & Richard Pearce - Verto Homes

Tom Carr and Richard Pearce are the founders of Verto Homes, the UK’s first housebuilder to specialise in the design, construction and sale of smart homes that produce zero carbon emissions. Each home creates its own clean energy and learns how its occupants live to adapt and adjust heating and lighting to reduce energy consumption and create a personalised environment.

Freddy Ward & Charlier Bowes-Lyon, Wild Cosmetics

Freddy Ward & Charlie Bowes-Lyon - Wild Cosmetics

Freddy Ward and Charlie Bowes-Lyon are the founders of Wild Cosmetics, a range of sustainable and natural deodorants. The refillable container is made from anodised aluminium and recycled plastic designed to last, while each refill is made from natural, plastic-free and compostable materials.

To find out more about our partners Starling Bank.

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