Glasgow eco nappy firm snapped up

L-R: Tracy Carroll of Frugi, Fiona Smyth, Hugo Adams, and Marcus Smyth. Picture: contributed.
L-R: Tracy Carroll of Frugi, Fiona Smyth, Hugo Adams, and Marcus Smyth. Picture: contributed.
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Glasgow-based reusable nappy and sanitary pad brand TotsBots, which uses recycled plastic bottles and sustainable bamboo towelling in its products, has been acquired by a Cornish organic children’s clothing brand.

The Scottish company, which is based in the east end of Glasgow, said it will continue to make its products in the city and grow the factory team to meet steadily increasing demand after being snapped up by Frugi.

TotsBots has spent 19 years developing, manufacturing and selling environmentally friendly reusable nappies. Picture: contributed.

TotsBots has spent 19 years developing, manufacturing and selling environmentally friendly reusable nappies. Picture: contributed.

“Following the acquisition, the brands will work closely together with significant cross-selling opportunities, as well the option for Frugi to leverage TotsBots’ existing manufacturing facilities to test and develop new products and categories more quickly in the future,” it said.

TotsBots has 75 staff, and designs, manufactures and sells sustainably sourced and environmentally-friendly nappies and reusable sanitary pad brand Bloom & Nora.

Committed to ethical manufacturing, the business has also recently had its reusable nappy voucher joining the Scottish Baby Box offering.

It also said the three brands are experiencing “significant” growth, with the acquisition enabling them all to further leverage the shift in consumer behaviour towards more sustainable purchasing habits.

Frugi has seen like-for-like sales growth of more than 50 per cent over the recent Christmas trading period. TotsBots is also enjoying major growth, particularly in its direct-to-consumer business, which has grown by more than 80 per cent in the last year.

Positive impact

TotsBots co-founder Fiona Smyth said: “We have spent 19 years developing, manufacturing and selling environmentally friendly reusable nappies. It has always been our mission to make the best products, in the kindest way possible to our planet, inspiring and enabling parents to make choices that have a positive environmental impact for the future of their children… bringing our company together with Frugi is the best possible outcome for us, our customers, our suppliers and the environment.”

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TotsBots also cited the estimate that a child will need between 4,000 to 6,000 nappies between birth and potty training, while only 30 to 50 cloth nappies are necessary over the same period.

Retail and consumer investment and innovation firm True took a majority stake in Frugi in July 2018. It has injected further capital into the business to fund the acquisition with the selling shareholders also retaining a stake in the enlarged Frugi group.

True worked closely with Frugi founder Lucy Jewson who remains a shareholder in the group and has a long-standing relationship with the TotsBots founders, to allow for the three brands to come together.

Frugi boss Hugo Adams said: “This is a really exciting acquisition that goes right back to the founding principles of both brands. Bringing them together gives us even more opportunities to leverage the considerable skills and expertise in both businesses for the benefit of our customers, suppliers and the environment.”

Paul Cocker, co-founder of True and board director at Frugi, welcomed its first bolt-on acquisition – as well as TotBots founders Fiona and Magnus Smyth becoming shareholders.