Nottinghamshire Company Launches Innovative Travel Bag Crafted from Recovered Ocean Waste

A Nottinghamshire entrepreneur has secured a Start-up Loan from First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans through the Start Up Loans Scheme by British Business Bank to offer an innovative solution to fast consumerism by crafting products from recovered ocean waste fabrics.

Sam Whetton, Founder of Reika Bags Ltd, graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a First-Class degree in product design and launched the forward-thinking brand in October 2021 thanks to financial support of £20,000.

The company’s mission is to use the business as a force for good, enhance the experience for travellers worldwide whilst contributing a percentage of their revenue to fund ocean initiatives. Reika Bags Ltd is passionate about combating the global plastic crisis through offering sustainable products made for the modern-day environmentally and socially conscious traveller

First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans allowed Sam, the winner of the UK Young Innovator award, to invest in marketing, stock and leverage funds raised through pre-orders made on Kickstarter. The company initially launched its travel backpack with a range of five modular accessories, however after making over £20,000 in pre-orders the company plans to expand the product range to appeal to a larger audience in the near future.

"Starting a business is never easy but preparing to launch a travel-based product business at the start of a global pandemic is what some would describe as an impossible task. Without the support of First Enterprise, I'm not sure we'd have been able to navigate these unchartered waters, and most importantly, launch the business in the first place.

Working with Stefan was an absolute delight from start to finish. He reduced the number of hoops to jump through, and made me feel at ease throughout what can be seen as a difficult process.

This loan will allow the business to grow at a rate I couldn’t have supported myself, and will hopefully see the brand go from strength to strength in the coming years as consumers' passion for travel reignites."

- Sam Whetton, Founder of Reika Bags

“We at First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans wholeheartedly support the company and its operations and wish only the best in all its endeavours.”

- Stefan Nycz, Investment Manager at First Enterprise – Enterprise Loans

“To see Sam Whetton come straight out of university and not only start a business, but one that is tackling environmental issues is very commendable. The green agenda, sustainable businesses and Net Zero are very much on the British Business Bank’s agenda. We wish Sam every success with his venture and the work that he is doing.”

- Richard Bearman, Managing Director Small Business Lending, British Business Bank


Find out more about the support from First Enterprise, here

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