Five environmentally friendly start-ups

A person holding a reusable coffee cup with the Nought logo on it
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
22 April 2021

Virgin StartUp funds the brands of the future through the Start Up Loans programme. As consumers become more aware of the impact that they are having on the environment, entrepreneurs need to consider how their businesses can be more environmentally friendly.

Here are five great start-ups that have received support from Virgin StartUp that are doing a great job in reducing their impact on the planet.

Nice Drinks

Nice Drinks is a forward-thinking drinks company that makes delicious wine in a can. Its cans are 100% recyclable forever and its wine is vegan, so it’s clear that the founders were thinking about their impact on the environment.

Nice Drinks has gone from strength to strength and is now stocked by a number of major highstreet retailers, supermarkets and restaurants. 

Nice Drinks has also achieved Pending B Corp status. This means that it has committed to managing its social and environmental performance as it continues to scale and grow. 

So We Flow

A lot has been said and written about the damage that fast fashion can cause to the planet. So We Flow is a men's yoga fashion brand with sustainability at its heart. Rather than mass-producing clothes, So We Flow focuses on producing quality clothes that will last. So-called ‘slow fashion’ is big business, with consumer interest on the rise in recent years.

So We Flow sends its clothes out with ‘Transparent Production’ tags, which detail the origin of the products. This means that customers can be certain of where their money is going – from the farmer that grows the cotton to the packaging that the items arrive in. It also encourages customers to repair, rehome or recycle clothing.


Each year, the world creates 300 million tonnes of plastics – that’s roughly equivalent to the weight of the entire human race. Of all plastic waste ever produced, 79% of it is sitting in landfill and polluting the atmosphere.

Nought is on a mission to free the world of disposable plastics. It has created a range of products to help everyone live a more eco-friendly life. This includes reusable coffee cups and water bottles, an organic cotton tote bag, and even bamboo toothbrushes. 


A BYBI toiletries bag with three BYBI products

BYBI has declared a fight against carbon and is working to become the world’s first carbon negative beauty brand. It is aiming to reduce its carbon emissions by the end of this year – not just offset the CO2 it produces. BYBI is assessing its current production and supply chain to set targets for annual CO2 reduction goals, which will reduce the brand’s impact on the planet.

On top of this, BYBI has put a lot of thought into the processes through which it sources ingredients for its products. More than half of the ingredients used for its range are upcycled from other sources. For example, for its Strawberry Boost, its supplier works with juice companies to collect strawberry seeds before they are juiced. Seeds would normally be thrown away and end up in landfill but BYBI uses the oils from them in its products. Food waste is accountable for 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions so stopping waste at any point in the supply chain has a hugely positive impact.

Pursuit The Label

Pursuit The Label makes sustainable swimwear, using ECONYL® a yarn made from regenerated discarded fishing nets and other waste from the land and sea. It also uses non-plastic packaging so as not to contribute to the plastic problem.

Pursuit The Label products are designed and manufactured in the UK, working with an ethical factory in London. Its production is done in small batches so that there is less waste, which is one of the major issues of mass-produced garments from ‘fast fashion’ brands.

Interested in other companies making a difference in the world? Take a look at the groundbreaking businesses with innovative solutions to climate problems.

Got a great idea for a business? Head over to Virgin StartUp for advice and support.