These were unique self-watering plants that sold out shortly after launch.
Just months before the lockdown, Glasgow-based POTR Pots sold their origami flatbed packaging factories, but supply issues resulting from a combination of the pandemic and Brexit forced them to rethink how to move their business forward.
For founders Andrew Flynn and Martin Keane, it was about returning to the drawing board and getting closer to home to solve their sourcing issues with what is described as the most sustainable potted plant in the world.
It also gave them the chance to come up with a plant design that is 100 times more efficient than a traditional plant pot and they are also looking for a manufacturer based in Glasgow.
After a successful crowdfunding campaign, POTR Pots launched its line of self-watering, flat-packed origami flower pots in 2019, and quickly sold its first run of 6,000 units.
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Despite huge demand, the company has not been able to fulfill any orders since last October due to the shutdown of its manufacturing partner due to the dual challenge of covid and Brexit.
But with a redesign from the company’s founders, Mr. Flynn and Mr. Keane, and a new manufacturing partner, the company is now able to deliver over 100,000 orders per month.
The product designer duo have returned to the drawing board making the manufacturing process even more efficient and even less energy intensive.
Manufacturers have also redesigned its retail packaging to ensure the absolute minimum of single-use packaging.
Mr. Flynn said: “As a designer, there is nothing better than creating something that people want. But then there is nothing worse than not being able to give it to them.
“Our mission is to make every houseplant have a greener home. Now we are able to do it.
“The previous design required us to manually fold and assemble each jar by hand – which was exhausting and created a bottleneck – so we went back to the drawing board.
“As product designers, we believe that we have a real responsibility to ensure that the products we create do not have a negative impact on the environment. ”
“Throughout the redevelopment process, we worked hand in hand with our manufacturing partners to ensure we could exceed our sustainability goals. ”
Mr. Flynn’s fiancee Eilidh – who helped pack the jars by hand in the first race – is so convinced by her partner’s passion and product promise that she quit her job as Marketing Manager at Dyson to join the company on their journey.
And with the world’s eyes on Glasgow ahead of COP26, the couple decided Glasgow was the perfect place to develop their product, which has already sold to buyers in 49 different countries.
The brand’s new line of origami flower pots retains the unique design of the flat packaging, which means the product can be mailed as a letter. That, added to the fact that it’s made from recycled polypropylene that would otherwise end up in a landfill, means it’s over 100 times more carbon efficient than a traditional flowerpot.
Mr. Flynn added, “Our philosophy is to do more with less. We always try to use as little material as possible throughout our process.
“Sustainability starts with design – the vast majority of an object’s carbon footprint is decided at the design stage.
“Thanks to culture and places like Glasgow School of Art, the city has such an amazing design community, and with COP26 coming up, this is the perfect place to grow a sustainable design business.”
The range was on display at Milan Design Week after being spotted by world-renowned Italian designer Rossana Orlandi and POTR was invited to exhibit at the London Design Festival in September. The company is currently seeking retail opportunities in Glasgow and beyond, investors and a manufacturer based in Glasgow.