13. The Cheeky Panda Ltd

The Cheeky Panda’s range of bamboo-based products help consumers to make sustainable shopping choices for their little ones and for themselves.

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Founders: Chris Forbes and Julie Chen
Founded: 2016
Website: cheekypanda.com

Sustainability can start from day one thanks to The Cheeky Panda’s brilliant range of bamboo-based products. The brand has been no stranger to previous years’ Startups 100 lists, and its continuing growth sees it featured yet again in 2021.

As well as its famed nappies and baby wipes, The Cheeky Panda has expanded its range to now include household and pocket tissues, kitchen towel, beauty wipes and even hand towels and antibacterial wipes for offices – perfectly timed for that return to the workplace.

The company now sells in a combined total of over 5,000 stores in the UK – including Boots, Waitrose and Morrisons, plus Amazon and Ocado online. Plus, it sells to over 25 countries around the world including most of Europe, Middle East, North America and China.

Yet amid the superb growth of the brand – in 2022, it expects to be one of the first pure play green companies to IPO – sustainability remains at the heart of all it does.

The company has saved 250,000 trees, reduced carbon in the atmosphere by 31,500 tons and saved over 10 tons of plastic

Co-founder Chris Forbes calculates that, to date, the company has saved 250,000 trees, reduced carbon in the atmosphere by 31,500 tons and saved over 10 tons of plastic packaging.

It’s inspiring other brands along the way, too. In fact, The Cheeky Panda isn’t alone on this year’s Startups 100 list as a bamboo-focused brand, with Mama Bamboo appearing at position 61.

We’re both an educator and a disruptor

“We’re both an educator and a disruptor,” Forbes comments. “Before we started this business in 2016, nobody had thought to use Bamboo – the world’s fastest growing plant – as an alternative to much slower growing trees.”

“In a world of stretched resources and climate change we speak to inspire a generation of entrepreneurs to create green businesses as we shift away from the brown economy of the 19th and 20th centuries into the green economy of the 21st.”

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