13. Dock & Bay

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Founders: Andy Jefferies and Ben Muller
Founded: 2015
Website: www.dockandbay.com

Let’s face it, towels are pretty dull – they dry you and they’re great for lying on at the beach, but they’ve never been very exciting. That is, until Dock & Bay came along. They’ve shaken up towel racks across the nation with a quick-dry stripey towel that comes in (almost) all the colours of the rainbow. Suddenly the humble towel was, dare I say it, almost cool?

An appearance on Dragons’ Den quickly followed, with the fledgling Dock & Bay securing a £75,000 investment from Deborah Meaden in return for a 10% stake in the business.

Since then, Dock & Bay has been busy launching a load of new products: hooded towels, hair towels, cooling towels for the gym, and swim shorts – all packed with the trademark flair for colourful, eye catching designs.

The stripey towels have not just flown off the ‘virtual’ shelves of the Dock & Bay website (which is pretty snazzy itself), but they are also stocked in high street stores like John Lewis, Selfridges, and Oliver Bonas. Dock & Bay has sold nearly 1 million quick-dry towels worldwide.

Now, Dock & Bay is working to help the planet – over the next 12 months it will move towards making all of its products from 100% recycled plastic bottles, and, in March 2020, it began giving 5% of its profits to eco charities (this year it’s One Tree Planted and Whale & Dolphin Conservation).

Having conquered the world of towels, we can’t wait to see what’s next from this cheeky, fun-filled brand.

Alec is Startups’ resident expert on politics and finance. He’s provided live updates on the budget, written guides on investing and property development, and demystified topics like corporation tax, accounting software, and invoice discounting. Before joining, he worked in the media for over a decade, conducting media analysis at Kantar Media and YouGov, and writing a wide variety of freelance pieces.

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