Ethical retailer Gossypium is attempting to raise money for expansion by inviting its customers to become investors, after the company refinanced its debts.
The lifestyle brand, based in Lewes, East Sussex, which has three stores and a website alongside 20 UK wholesale stockists and a similar number of stockists in Europe, has secured a $135,000 (£94,000) loan from US bank Root Capital to refinance an existing loan. As part of the restructure, the company has hired a general manager, Lee Mildon, who has previously worked for Asda and the NHS.
Gossypium is also aiming to raise up to £250,000 by offering a new class of shares linked to seats on an ethical council, which will have a say on company strategy.
Investors will also receive a dividend and a discount off Gossypium product. The new investors will not hold voting shares, which will remain in the hands of founder Abigail Petit, her husband Thomas, and Indian ethical cotton producer Agrocel.
Petit said the money would be used to extend Gossypium’s ranges of organic cotton basics including underwear and bed linen in a bid to double turnover at its stores, which has remained steady at £500,000 in recent years.