Norwich startup is one of the UK’s ‘most innovative new businesses’

Sustainability champions Canopey have been listed in the top 50 of the prestigious 100 Index, which has previously identified brands including Monzo, Deliveroo and HelloFresh.

The UK’s longest running index of disruptive new startups has released its 2024 lineup and green marketplace Canopey, of Norwich, is named in the top 50, as well as being shortlisted for the Startups Sustainability Award.

Run by the UK’s most established website for entrepreneurs,, the Startups 100 offers a showcase of new businesses that demonstrate innovation, solid financials, opportunity in their market, a great concept, and a strong customer base or following. The list has previously identified brands including Monzo, Deliveroo and HelloFresh.

Impact and sustainability-driven startups dominate the list, with the top ten including THIS™ plant-based meat alternatives, Maeving electric motorcycles, innovative animal-free dairy alternatives Better Dairy, carbon-removal service UNDO Carbon, and 100% electric delivery service Packfleet. is an online marketplace for environmentally sustainable and eco-conscious brands which launched in 2023.

Although headquartered in Norwich, it was originally founded in a field … the brainchild of two friends and entrepreneurs with a shared passion for sustainability.

Their lightbulb moment struck three years ago while working at a music festival.

After the better half of a decade campaigning for Greenpeace and working in the events industry, Thomas Panton and university friend and bandmate, Hugo Douglas-Deane, stood in a sea of plastic waste at the end of a festival, angry that not enough was being done to stop the world filling with junk.

They decided to start Canopey, bringing on a third co-founder Abrar Rauf, a software developer and avid climber who gave up his job in London’s financial district to build a company that values sustainability.

Founder and CEO Thomas said: “We started Canopey to make it easier for everyone to live more sustainably, and while doing so bring unprecedented trust to the sustainable shopping journey. We’re excited to be seeing this level of recognition already for what we’re doing at Canopey.

“The massive growth of ethical consumerism shows that this is the future we not only want but need.

“With big brands and retailers increasingly trying to mislead shoppers with dubious green claims, we’re proud to be the only online UK retail platform that verifies and vets companies using hard evidence before assigning our accreditations, which together with the Canopey Impact Calculator, brings together real innovation, sustainability and accessibility.”

Unique to the new platform is also an industry-first impact calculator which highlights the footprint of each product bought compared to the ‘mainstream’ alternatives, allowing customers to track the positive impact of their shopping over time.

Since launching in 2023 Canopey customers have helped save more than 2,612 kg CO2e, 1,253 kg plastic waste, 364,902 litres of water and planted 15,460 trees. This amounts to 3,680 miles driven, 8,083 barbies-worth of plastic, more than 2,000 bathtubs of water and 15.6 football pitches of trees.

As new research reveals that more than two in three (68%) British shoppers feel angry that brands and retailers’ green claims could be intentionally misleading them into making a purchase, Canopey’s mission is to guide customers through the growing minefield of ‘green’ claims and greenwashing.

Bringing together a wide range of environmentally sustainable and eco-conscious retailers at launch, its product categories range from beauty and skincare, clothing, food & drink, through to homeware and cleaning products, including household brands KeepCup, Wild deodorant, Ocean Bottle and Serious Tissues.

The Startups 100, run by, showcases the top 100 new UK businesses based on five key areas of analysis: finance, external validation, size of opportunity, innovativeness of idea and strength of concept.

Managing Editor of, Richard Parris, comments: “The ingenuity and innovation of the brands featuring in our annual Startups 100 index never ceases to amaze, and this year is no exception.

“Despite the crises of the past couple of years, we’ve seen some incredible businesses from every corner of the UK in our rankings. They may be tackling different challenges to one another, but there’s a shared mood of opportunity and an optimism for the year ahead that’s invigorating to see as we begin 2024.”

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