Glasgow’s flowerpot people go for growth with new design

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A Glasgow start-up is seeing new growth in its sustainable flowerpot business.

Andrew Flynn and Martin Keane are the West End-based founders of POTR Pots.

They launched their flat-packed design back in 2019 but were hit by the pandemic.

After months without a factory to make the products, the self-watering and recycled pots are available once again.

And with a new design, the company says it is able to supply more than 100,000 orders per month.

Andrew, who lives in Scotstoun, said: “As a designer, there’s nothing better than making something people want. 

“But then there’s nothing worse than not being able to give it to them.

“Our mission is to ensure every house plant gets a greener home. Now we are able to do that.

“The previous design required us to manually fold and assemble each pot by hand – which was exhausting and created a bottle neck – so we’ve gone back to the drawing board. 

“As product designers we feel we have a real responsibility to ensure that the products we are creating are not having a negative impact on the environment.

“Throughout the redevelopment process we’ve worked hand in hand with our manufacturing partners to ensure we could exceed our sustainability goals.”

Andrew Flynn, Martin Keane and Eilidh Cunningham have launched the world’s most sustainable plant pot – the POTR pot. Photos: Kirsty Anderson

When POTR Pots launched its range of flat-packed origami plant pots in 2019, it quickly sold out of its first manufacturing run of 6,000 units.

The company was then hit when its manufacturing partner shut down due to the twin challenges of COVID-19 and Brexit.

A new supplier has been found in Bristol but the team want to bring the manufacturing to Glasgow.

“As product designers we feel we have a real responsibility to ensure that the products we are creating are not having a negative impact on the environment

Andrew Flynn

Meanwhile, Andrew’s fiancé Eilidh is so convinced by her partner’s passion and the product’s promise that she’s left her position as a marketing manager at Dyson to join the company.

The unique flat pack design allows the product to be posted like a letter. 

And the fact it’s made of recycled polypropylene which would otherwise end up in landfill, means it’s more than “100 times more carbon efficient than a traditional plant pot”,  according to the company.

Andrew said: “Our ethos is to do more with less. We always try to use as little material as possible through our entire process.

“Sustainability starts with design – the vast majority of an object’s carbon footprint is decided at the design stage.

Eco, self-watering, origami plant pots. Photo: Kirsty Anderson

“Thanks to the culture and to places like Glasgow School of Art, the city has such an incredible design community, and with COP26 coming up, this is the perfect place to grow a sustainable design business.” 

The business is currently looking for retail opportunities in Glasgow and beyond, investors and a Glasgow-based manufacturer.   

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