Norwich sustainable shopping start-up wins £30k windfall

From left, Hugo Douglas-Deane and Thomas Panton, founders of Canopey (Image: Canopey)

Regional angel investors have backed a new Norwich-based business aimed at climate-conscious shoppers.

Canopey has scooped a total of £269k from seed investors – and has rounded off its  bid for seed funding with a £30k windfall from Norfolk and Suffolk investment group Anglian Capital Group (ACG).

Local entrepreneurs Thomas Panton and Hugo Douglas-Deane founded their start-up  aimed at giving consumers access to sustainable products – last year.

Their goal was to take on big firms like Amazon and fast fashion retailers such as Pretty Little Thing.

The company vets sustainable brands before bringing their products – ranging from fashion and beauty to food and drink – together on one website.

The site hosts an impact calculator to show how buying sustainable products on the platform reduces plastic, water and carbon compared to mainstream alternatives.

Among their first backers was Virgin Startup which helped the company through its business accelerator programme. The University of East Anglia agreed to plough £50k into it – on top of £9,500 in grant funding.

ACG said it agreed to invest in the company after an engaging pitch in the summer.

“Thomas and Hugo from Canopey pitched with genuine passion and enthusiasm,” said ACG managing director Hannah Smith.

“It was this alongside their clear business plan and industry knowledge which made them stand out to our investors.

“We’re excited to see this local company making strides towards helping consumers make more sustainable choices and extremely proud to be a part of their journey.”

Mr Panton said the climate crisis was forcing consumers to re-evaluate their shopping habits.

“We can see that consumers aren’t seeing the changes they want to see, so they’re taking it into their own hands to tackle the problem and feel better and more in control,” he said.

“However, finding genuinely sustainable, ethically made products isn’t straightforward. At Canopey, we’re seeking to address that with our multi-vendor marketplace for sustainable products.”

He added: “Early-stage investment is pivotal in driving the change we need to see to hit net zero.

“Start-ups can move faster, more accurately, and more fluidly, so it makes sense for them to be funded appropriately to solve these issues.”

ACG’s members have supported the growth of 50 companies to date – and as well as investing in them they have shared their personal experience and knowledge from their own careers.

This article was written by Sarah Chambers via Eastern Daily Press, to learn more visit: