Nine purpose-led startups saving our environment

The market for sustainable products is steadily growing as consumers search for more environmentally friendly alternatives to everyday items. 

During The Pitch 2022, a huge number of entries came from purpose-led startups. More than 50% of finalists in The Pitch 2022 were purpose led, including the overall winner.

It’s no surprise that purpose has become a key factor for founders. Purpose-led startups report higher levels of innovation and are more likely to be able to attract and retain talent. They’re also able to grow around three times faster than competitors

With the demand for eco-friendly alternatives higher than ever, we thought it was time to celebrate some of the startups creating change for the better.

Rowdy Kind is creating eco-friendly habits for life

Rowdy Kind, winner of The Pitch 2022, introduces children to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Children are exposed to plastic at a very young age, creating habits that stick for life. Rowdy Kind wants to change that, using their fun alternatives to wasteful bottles to subtly evolve these bad habits into good ones.

Founders Kate and Anne Marie are “on a mission to make bathtime plastic free”, selling their soaps in long-lasting metal tins rather than single-use packaging. A single Rowdy Kind bar has the same volume of active ingredients as two 250ml bottles of liquid equivalent, meaning it can last at least twice as long as an average bottle of lotion. 

Around 40% of plastic sent to landfill is from bathrooms, so Rowdy Kind’s 0% plastic bathtime products are creating change for the better. 

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Ghillied is repurposing waste fishing nets

Ghillied is a Scottish startup that creates sustainable women’s leggings and beanie hats (with a men’s range coming soon). They made it to the London regional final of The Pitch 2022.

Ghillied uses a recycled nylon fabric, which is made from fishing nets and industrial plastic from the ocean. Fishing nets are thought to be the largest polluter in the ocean, with around 640k tons left at the ocean floor each year. Compared with new nylon, recycled nylon is estimated to be around 90% less impactful on climate change.

All products listed on the Ghillied website are made in the UK, which means that no CO2 is produced by planes transporting the clothes internationally. Each garment is also handmade, guaranteeing a long life for every product. 

As an outdoor wear business, Ghillied also champions an active lifestyle and taking time to appreciate and care for the world we live in. 

Goodfind helps us make better choices

Goodfind helps to guide people towards more eco-friendly lifestyles. The website is a digital hub for finding new, ethical suppliers for everything from food to clothes, and impressed our judges at the London regional final of The Pitch 2022

You can filter results on Goodfind by:

  • Category: Explore everything from ethical clothes and homewares to responsible banking
  • Values: Select organic suppliers, B Corps, companies that support refugees and much more
  • Product or service: Find ethical alternatives to everyday products, such as coffee, shampoo and cleaning products 

Goodfind is also a great place to find period care which doesn’t impact the planet. They fund sustainable period products in poorer areas, tackling environmental issues and improving the lives of young girls in poverty.

Nested Loop puts power back into your hands

Nested Loop offers people a flexible choice of blending energy sources in their home, saving money and reducing carbon emissions in the process. Their innovative energy storage system got them to the final of The Pitch 2022.

The startup’s modular batteries store grid energy overnight when it’s cheapest, for you to use during the day. You can then store any solar energy you’re generating for when there’s a blackout – or for another time of your choosing. 

The Nested Loop system comes with a five-year warranty and not only includes their batteries, but every bit of hardware and software you need for the setup, including fitting solar panels on your home. Multiple modules can also be combined to source power in large houses, schools and commercial buildings.

Their system switches between energy sources automatically, making it easy to use and cost effective – something which is especially important at a time when energy and household bills are higher than ever.

Nested Loop answer judges’ questions at The Pitch Final 2022

Solaris Kit harnesses sunlight to heat water

Solaris Kit has designed an innovative flat-packed solar collector that harnesses energy from the sun to heat water. Their mission is to provide affordable and accessible clean energy worldwide. Solaris Kit was one of ten startups to reach the final of The Pitch 2020.

Around 50% of global energy is consumed to meet heating demand. Founder Dr Faisal Ghani, a mechanical engineer who has been working in the solar energy field for over 15 years, believes that solar energy has enormous potential to decarbonise heat and improve the quality of life for millions of people.

In addition to supplying households with hot water, Solaris Kit’s innovation can generate sustainable energy for hot tubs, pools, glamping and more.

Tooth makes brushing more sustainable

Tooth is a toothbrush subscription service that aims to deliver “your last toothbrush ever”.

In response to billions of toothbrushes ending up in landfills each year, Tooth provides eco-friendly toothbrushes with reusable handles and replaceable, recyclable heads. Tooth was a finalist of The Pitch 2019.

Each toothbrush has a durable aluminium handle, with minimal need of replacement. The removable and biodegradable toothbrush heads are made with bioplastics which can fully compost in three to six months, and the bristles from recyclable nylon. Using over 99.9% less plastic than an average plastic toothbrush, this is a great step towards reducing your carbon footprint. 

They go further than just the brushes too. Tooth also sells BPA-free, 100% recycled plastic toothbrush cases, recycled stainless steel brush stands and linen bathrobes. 

In order to keep prices as affordable as possible, Tooth provides direct delivery to customers (using only recyclable packaging of course!). Subscriptions are available in one, two or three month intervals, depending on your preference. 

Biofuel Evolution turns your food waste into fuel 

Biofuel Evolution is exploring new and innovative ways to create power from food and agricultural waste. This innovative startup was a finalist at The Pitch 2019.

Every year, 2.5 billion tonnes of food waste is dumped into landfill. With a mission to “make clean energy accessible to the world”, Biofuel Evolution is working to turn these unwanted waste products into energy rather than rubbish.

Founders Jaymish and Viral Patel used their expertise in chemical engineering to produce a prototype that has been tested and validated as a viable energy conversion process.

Aiming to decrease reliance on fossil fuels and other unsustainable energy sources, Biofuel Evolution created BeBlock. This is a technology which produces a clean energy source called bioethanol. It has the ability to provide heat, water and electricity, as well as powering vehicles.

Unlike many other biofuels, bioethanol can be produced with discarded resources rather than food crops in demand for other uses, such as corn and sugarcane. This makes it far more popular than alternatives, as it reduces food waste in landfill without using up valuable crops. It’s also a low-carbon energy source.

OCEANTEE provides sustainable golf apparel 

OCEANTEE creates golf tees, accessories and clothing all crafted entirely from sustainable materials.

Every minute, the equivalent of a garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans. OCEANTEE “works with sustainability experts to identify, pioneer and promote environmentally friendly fabrics, materials and processes that produce the highest performing golf gear”.

In addition to textile innovation, OCEANTEE manufactures and produces their products at one location, which cuts down on both emissions and energy use. They use minimal packaging in deliveries, and no plastic is used throughout the manufacturing of their products. They also print QR codes on each product with sourcing and manufacturing details for added transparency.

OCEANTEE donates at least 1% of annual revenue to environmental causes. In 2021, they also won Best Start Up at The Global Good Awards.

By Rotation is tackling fast fashion

By Rotation is a website and app which allows customers to rent out designer clothes and accessories, saving them from purchasing items they will only use a handful of times. They made it to The Pitch Final in 2019.

Fast fashion is a growing issue which causes up to 10% of CO2 emissions. Every year, the UK throws out around £140 million worth of clothing. Many of these clothes are still in good condition, only thrown away after being worn a couple of times.

By Rotation’s founder Eshita Kabra-Davies launched the company in an attempt to limit this impact on the environment.

As well as challenging overconsumption habits, By Rotation also promotes sustainable choices by delivering clothes in compostable bags, and using an eco-friendly cleaning and repair service for their garments.

Are you running a brilliant purpose-led startup and want to get involved in The Pitch? Join the community here.

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Author
Karina Kundzina
Karina is the Content and Marketing Assistant at Inkwell, the company behind The Pitch.

Applications for The Pitch 2024 are open!

The Pitch returns for another year of supporting startup founders with free advice, mentoring, investor introductions and opportunities to network with fellow founders.

The competition is completely free to enter so if you’re a UK-based startup who has been trading for 4 years or less then why not maximise your potential? 

Submit your application today to be in with a chance to win.

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