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Bag Re:Born - Bag Re:Born

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Bag Re:Born - Bag Re:Born

The story of Bag Re:Born


Richard Simmonite, founder of Bag Re:Born pitched in Guildford and Southampton during series 2 of 2013 and has gone on to work with Geoff Spink who is now taking on the role of FD and Chairman of the company. Read their experiences below



Bag Re:Born is a radical and disruptive 'Re:Design' of the conventional waste/ recycling sack. A bin-liner cleverly disguised as a reusable carrier bag to extend the product life-cycles of two of the most short-lived consumables on the planet. Our mission is to help retailers deliver a more sustainable high street by providing customers with multi-functional reusable products, making it simpler to reduce and reuse shopping bags. We create innovative eco solutions to everyday problems, focussing on resource efficiency and habit change.


I am a qualified Design Technology secondary school teacher specialising in Product Design and Resistant & Compliant Materials. During the last 12 months I have undertaken a Masters of Science degree in Product Innovation and Development at the University of Brighton and graduated in July of this year. My time on the course has been spent designing the product and planning commercialisation of the now patent granted innovation. Bag Re:Born won 'Most Innovative Product' in the Santander Universities Enterprise Awards in 2012 and I was also a finalist of Venture Candy run by Metro news. More recently, Bag Re:Born has been shortlisted in the Sustainability Leaders Awards 2013 and shares a finalist position alongside some of the worlds biggest brands and multinational corporations.


Bag Re:Born started with a brief to design something that can make a positive difference in the world. My passion is for sustainable design, and after reflecting on a presentation focussing on the 6R's (rethink, refuse, reduce, repair, reuse and recycle) I took it upon myself to find a solution to the over consumption of single use carrier bags. I knew this was a big global issue with all sorts of different ideas being sort to reduce the numbers of bags being used and discarded. My research led me to the understanding that so called 'eco' bags such as the plastic bag-for-life and cotton tote could be more damaging to the environment than the lightweight carrier if not reused enough times, and that taxes which were implemented to reduce plastic film actually increased it, through the need for consumers to buy bin-liners and refuse sacks instead of reusing the once readily available free shopping bags. Thus came the idea to combine both the large kitchen bin-liner and the regular plastic carrier together in order to prevent the need for two separate consumable products.


Prior to pitching, my company was a one man band the business was made up of just me to keep overheads to a minimum during the research and development phase, utilising specialist consultancy when required. The business was operating in a research and development capacity from the University of Brighton until the beginning of 2013 and I knew that to take the business to the next level I would require an experienced team to help with both commercial operations and financial planning. I had already recruited an industry expert in manufacturing and sales to advise the business, but still required a local colleague to take on the role of finance director and company chairperson.


I was contacted by the team at P4M late one afternoon, after being introduced by the Sussex Innovation Centre whom I had worked with previously. The call came just at the right time really, as I had been working with the Growth Accelerator programme and just identified the companies funding and management requirements for growing the business. It was explained to me that there would be a room full of experienced executives and talented management personnel looking for executive and non executive roles in start ups and growing businesses like mine. As this was next on my list of things to do, there wasn't much convincing needed, plus there wasn't much time to think about it really, as the event was only one day away!


I was overwhelmed by the response and feedback I received at that first event, I was also rather surprised (and encouraged) to receive a round of applause midway through the pitch whilst demonstrating how the Bag Re:Born product worked. During the networking session afterwards I was approached by many interested parties offering a multitude of skills and advice. I engaged in further one to one meetings with six individuals in total, and found the right person for the business in Mr. Geoff Spink, who joins the team in a finance director and chairman role.


The overall experience felt well organised and professional. The team made the whole process really simple and the environment was relaxed and friendly with a conducive atmosphere to network. P4M has enabled our business to grow its management team effectively through a well managed and structured introduction service. Bag Re:Born is now well equipped to grow, and the strength of the team brings confidence for the future of the business.



I have many years of experience as Chief Executive or Chairman, and sometimes Finance Director, in a number of public and private companies in both the UK and overseas, built upon an initial qualification as a Chartered Accountant.  More recently, I left full-time executive employment and have taken on a new ‘portfolio career’ as a non-executive director, involved with a number of commercial projects.


I have been on the Angel News mailing list for some considerable time, and so I have had a general background awareness of the P4M events. However, my interest became more specific as I developed my portfolio activities. I considered that the delegate registration fee of £25 was worthwhile to attend the meeting, hear the various presentations, and explore networking opportunities so I started to coming along to the events.


My first meeting was at Guildford in February, but then I met with Richard and Bag Re:Born at the Guildford / Southampton meetings in April / May. I liked Richard’s presentation and was excited about the business opportunity, and considered that I could offer him a combination of commercial experience and financial guidance and ‘FD input’. I think we can confirm that it is the classic ‘Ronseal’ delivery as you ‘did exactly what it said on the tin’. The P4M process brought Richard and me together in cordial circumstances that would not have occurred otherwise, and has allowed us to combine our respective resources in the business to great effect.


Bag Re:Born - Bag Re:Born

Bag Re:Born - Bag Re:Born

"Through Pitching for Management, we found one of our core team in an evening. I can't think of another way this could possibly have happened so swiftly."

Steffan Aquarone, CEO, Droplet

Bag Re:Born - Bag Re:Born