A computer retail venture is looking for £50,000 it needs to launch as an ethical, environmentally friendly online reseller in the UK.
Woolley, Bath-based Vipul Patel said on the company's CrowdCube crowdsourcing pitch: "I'm a social entrepreneur determined to make it easy to live great, fulfilling, lives – buying what we really need without trashing the planet and its life."
According to a media statement released by the embryonic e-tailer, dubbed Spaice, it will sell computing, office and stationery products as well as small electrical items and photography products further down the track. All offerings will have been rated against environmental, animal welfare, human rights and anti-corruption criteria.
"Patel has already secured partnerships with major non-profit organisations including Resurgence & Ecologist, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Ethical Consumer, and the Green Party; Spaice expects to have an agreement with Amnesty International UK by launch," it said.
"By leveraging these strategic partnerships, Spaice will be able to minimise marketing costs and gain market share relatively quickly."
Patel, who has invested £100,000 in Spaice so far, believes the ethical market to be valued at £47.2bn, going on 2012 figures, and projects that it will continue to grow in coming decades. Furthermore, the need to act more ethically is urgent, the statement suggested.
"The current production model of 1kg of manufactured goods requiring 8.5kg of resources is already unsustainable and, with the commonly accepted population growth models predicting that 2.4bn people will be added to the world's current 7.2bn by 2050, this will create an even greater burden on major ecosystems," it said.
More ethical products would become more attractive to consumers – and Spaice "intends to carve out a leadership position in this emerging market".
At the time of writing, Spaice had raised £17,290 on CrowdCube, out of the £50,000 still needed. Investors will receive A-shares with full voting privileges, as well as potential tax relief for invested funds, according to the Spaice statement.
"The business strategy projects that the company will be able to repurchase shares after three years. Patel also plans to list Spaice on the Ethex ethical exchange.
Patel's other ventures include another online retail project, Scientia Technology, and he has a background in a range of retail manager and business development positions, according to LinkedIn.
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