World’s First Hemp Sunglass Line Receives £25K Funding from Business Loans Scotland

28 Nov 2019

As part of a wider funding package, Edinburgh based Hemp Eyewear, plan on utilising the loan to launch their handcrafted range of sunglasses into the optical market. 

Founded in September 2014 by Product Designer and Managing Director Sam Whitten, Hemp Eyewear manufacture the world’s first hemp fibre eyewear in Edinburgh, Scotland. With the industry generally creating eyewear products from harmful plastics, Sam sought out to showcase hemp as an eco-material that is extremely sustainable and diverse and following this, has developed leading edge sustainable technology which can used as a replacement for plastics in some applications.

Over the past 5 years, Sam and his team refined and tested each product before launching these into the market and once finalised, Hemp Eyewear were ready to put the manufacturing infrastructure in place to start production.

To support this, the company initially used crowdfunding as a means to raise capital where consumers could pre-order Hemp Eyewear products in advance and with the funds raised, Sam was able to invest in specialised machinery to develop the business’ manufacturing facility in Edinburgh.

With further growth plans for the business, including ramping up marketing efforts and developing an e-commerce website, Sam turned to Business Loans Scotland for additional funding and received a £25,000 loan to support the business through this growth period.

Speaking of Hemp Eyewear’s products, Sam said:

"Hemp is the most sustainable, eco-friendly and diverse crop on earth, but not many people know about it. Our vision is to build a sustainable future using hemp as the main material while developing high quality plastic-free products."

Offering loans from £25,000 to £100,000, Business Loans Scotland have supported over 30 Scottish SMEs with funding to grow.

Fund Manager for Business Loans Scotland, Andrew Dickson added:

“I am delighted that Business Loans Scotland has been able to support Hemp Eyewear with a £25,000 loan to support an increase in sales and marketing efforts. We are passionate about supporting start-up and growing Scottish businesses by providing essential funding to fulfil their growth aspirations. I look forward to watching the business prosper and seeing many more consumers turning to Hemp Eyewear for their optical needs.”

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