Case Studies

Ocean Plastic Pots help to turn the tide

A business that specialises in sustainable plant pots, made from end of life or discarded fishing gear, and plastic fish boxes has increased business operations substantially following support from Business Gateway.

About the business

Founded by former North Sea Saturation diver Ally Mitchell in January 2021, Ocean Plastic Pots is the first business in the world to sell plant pots made from end-of-life or discarded fishing gear, and plastic fish boxes.

The support provided by the advisers at Business Gateway has been instrumental in the growth of Ocean Plastic Pots.

How Business Gateway has helped

Ally approached Business Gateway for advice as he looked to scale up business activities. Working closely with Business Gateway, Ally accessed support as he mapped out his initial business model and received guidance for his pitch at the final of ScottishEDGE round17.

Through this preparation, Ally was able to win £40k which allowed him to invest in additional tooling to expand the product range, and expand his team by hiring a new employee. Ally has since grown the business further by securing contracts with 90 retail stockists internationally, from Shetland to Japan, and now has a range of pots and saucers in four colours. More recently, he has finalised a contract with Bloom and Wild, which has taken Ocean Plastic Pots turnover to almost £150k in the first year, having started on a market stall as little as 18 months before.

Business Gateway is continuing to support Ally and has connected the business to its wider support network, including contacts at Zero Waste Scotland. This will give Ally the opportunity to further develop his supply chain in how he acquires his materials and find more ways to embed circularity into his business model.

Ocean Plastic Pots also received support from DigitalBoost and accessed advice on digital marketing which created substantial efficiencies in his website.

Ally Mitchell, Founder, Ocean Plastic Pots said: “The support provided by the advisers at Business Gateway has been instrumental in the growth of Ocean Plastic Pots. Starting your own business can be lonely at the beginning and Business Gateway was a great help to me, acting as a sounding board throughout the challenging early stages. They helped me focus and target my time and effort more efficiently, and ensured I was prepared for the pitch to ScottishEDGE.

“Since then, Ocean Plastic Pots has gone from strength to strength. We won RHS Chelsea Flower Show’s first ever Sustainable Garden Product of the Year Award as well as the Product of the Year Award. We have continued to build on this success with our partnership with Bloom and Wild, Europe’s largest flower provider.”

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