YouK, an online marketplace offering shoppers the opportunity to support homegrown brands and services, launched yesterday at an event in the capital’s Summerhall.
The site follows a UK-centric philosophy that it claims enables customers to “consciously select their purchases” from UK sources, thereby supporting the local economy and reducing environmental impact by cutting down on air miles associated with transporting goods.
YouK uses a scoring system that rates whether a product is partially or substantially made in the UK to give shoppers an informed choice.
This includes assessing aspects such as the locations of its research and development team, designers, manufacturing facilities and source materials.
Consumers can search more than 500 cheeses, 500 bottles of gin and 250 clothes brands that are home-grown.
Additional functions include sustainability ratings for fish, provided by the Marine Conservation Society, and ecological rankings for tea and coffee firms that take into account worker welfare.
The business has received a design grant from Scottish Enterprise and is partly funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds Programme 2014 to 2020.
Founder Derek Poots, a business development and IT specialist, said his vision was to create a marketplace where every brand featured allowed shoppers to make an environmental and economic impact.
He said: “We believe YouK can help consumers discover the wealth of UK products and brands available. The environment, our jobs and public services will all benefit from localisation.”
YouK employs 12 staff and its website, developed by fellow capital firm Bad Dinosaur, is now live.