Turning down an offer of investment on Dragons’ Den proved to be an inspired decision for entrepreneur James Higgins.

E-commerce business Ethical Bedding was founded by Higgins to make eco-friendly bedding and has pledged to give 1 per cent of its annual income to global sustainability initiatives and plant one tree for every purchase made.

Higgins raised eyebrows on his recent appearance of the BBC show Dragons’ Den when he turned down an offer of £150,000 from Dragon Touker Suleyman for a 50 per cent stake in the startup.

Instead he turned to the online equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs for investment and raised over £220,000 from 271 investors in exchange for 9.87 per cent of the equity.

Higgins said: “The success of our first Seedrs campaign is just the beginning for Ethical Bedding. I always knew that the business would be successful, and I also wanted the company to become part of the community, so opening it up to public investors was a must.

“Ethical Bedding has gained increasing recognition since the brand was showcased to the world. Our appearance on Dragons’ Den provided an ideal platform for spreading our message and meaning, and the overall experience has helped us on our mission to shape an ethical future.

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“I didn’t agree to take part in Dragons’ Den to just secure whatever money I could for the sake of having a certain name as an investor. I take pride in my convictions and the message of my business and that’s why I am glad I opened our business up to like-minded individuals who recognise our worth and want to help us build an ethical empire.

“Achieving over £220,000 in funding from 271 individual investors emphatically validates my decision to reject the offer on Dragons’ Den.

“Importantly this level of funding for considerably less equity, ensures that Ethical Bedding is a far more investible proposition for institutional investors in the coming years.”

London-based Ethical Bedding will use the £220,000 raised from its initial funding round to invest in three core focuses of people, products and brand.

One of the company’s long-term aims is to expand its national retail network into high street stores across the UK and Ireland.

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