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Dragons’ Den: Where to buy pop-up chess, Bide, sparkly partywear and Ethical Bedding

From B Corp brands to a company led by a paper engineer, here’s tonight’s fix of start-ups

Alex Lee
Thursday 26 January 2023 20:55 GMT
Four entrepreneurs got a grilling in the den this evening
Four entrepreneurs got a grilling in the den this evening (iStock/The Independent)

Sometimes, Dragons’ Den plays out like a giant strategy game, with Evan Davis commentating on the match. Tonight especially so, as Peter Jones engineered his way into deals and seemed to lead other entrepreneurs up the garden the path.

Episode four of the hit business show was full of conspiratorial scheming. Jones stole yet another entrepreneur out of Sara Davies’ clutches, just a week after he (along with Steven Bartlett) plucked Potion Paris perfume from under her nose.

Tonight, we saw entrepreneurs pitch everything from an ethical bedding company and a sparkly partywear brand to pop-up paper board games and a community-based home manufacturing business.   

If you’ve missed this series’ previous episodes, and want a quick run-down of the start-ups featured in the show so far, we’ve recapped episode two with its plus-size clothing brand, episode one with its crystals and episode three with its weird and wonderful rowing bike.

But if it’s pop-up board games or sparkly clothes you want, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about all the businesses seen in tonight’s show, and where exactly you can buy their products.

Infinite Jest pop-up chess set and pop-up row of four: From £16.99,

(David Hawcock)

Paper engineer David Hawcock has been in the business of pop-up books for years – he even designed the one featured in Paddington 2 – but the entrepreneur had a new business proposition for the dragons: pop-up paper board games, including a chess set and a connect-four-style set.

Although he had a bit of a wobbly pitch, the dragons were enamoured with David’s pop-up paper game creation, which saw him receive offers from four of the dragons. In the end, Hawcock opted for the Touker Suleyman and Peter Jones combo, despite having to give up more equity compared with Davies’s offer.   

Both the chess set and the row of four pop-up books can be opened and closed in any position, with the pieces popping up in the same position in which they were left. The set is made from paper and card with no plastic in the construction, and it’ll fit neatly on any bookshelf. The two games cost £16.99 each, but the company is bundling two together for £29.99. 

Buy now

Read more: Best board games: Tabletop, party games and more

Bide home-manufactured cleaning products:


Wiltshire-based Amelia Gammon’s for-profit social enterprise Bide is a business that does manufacturing differently. Launched in 2020, the company sells eco-friendly cleaning products produced and manufactured in people’s homes. The company says 17 per cent of its home-manufacturing network is made up of refugees, 8 per cent are prison-leavers and 3 per cent are people with addictions.

The dragons’ interest was piqued by the potential business model – where home manufacturers deliver directly to the consumer – leading Deborah Meaden to invest in Gammon’s unique community-focused venture.

Bide is a B Corp-certified brand that sells natural, non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning products, including washing-up liquid concentrate, dishwashing powder, toilet freshener bombs, toilet scrubs, laundry powder, body wash and handwash. It is currently selling a ‘Dragons’ box’ filled with items it showcased during tonight’s episode (£24,      

If you’d like to become one of Bide’s home manufacturers, you can register your interest on Bide’s website. The brand says the only pieces of equipment required to become a home manufacturer are weighing scales, mixing bowls and mixing utensils.

Buy now

Read more: B Corp certified brands you need to know

Sparklebutt partywear: From £45,


Who knew we needed to see Touker Suleyman put on a pair of sparkly trousers and dance like our dad? Not Ashlee Ackland, founder of partywear brand Sparklebutt. Despite trying hard to get the dragons out of their suits and into some partywear, they all felt she was too early in her business journey for them to invest.

Sparklebutt is a festival-focused, gender-neutral partywear brand that launched in 2018. The company sells flamboyant trousers, shorts and tops. Described as “very good quality” by Sara Davies, you can buy the trousers in seven different colours – emerald, blue and green; rainbow gold; petrol blue; white and silver; gold; pink and black (£95 each).

The shorts cost £55 each and come in all the above colours except black. You can also get tops in gold, blue, red and silver for £45 each.

Buy now

Read more: Best party dresses for winter soirees and more

Ethical Bedding:

(Ethical Bedding)

It was a confident, no-nonsense pitch from James Higgins and his sustainable brand Ethical Bedding, but it may have just been a little too over-confident, as the dragons pulled out in quick succession due to his sky-high valuation. While he did get an offer from Suleyman, it was a speedy rejection from Higgins as he wasn’t prepared to give away half of his company.

Launched in 2020, the certified B Corp brand produces sustainable bedding from eucalyptus. It sells a whole range of environmentally friendly products, including a mattress, duvets, sheets, protectors, toppers, blankets, pillows and pillow cases, as well as eye masks and plant-based scented candles, fragrance and diffuser oils.

Buy now

Read more: Best bamboo sheets that are soft and sustainable

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Looking for some environmentally friendly brands? Check out our guide to the sustainable fashion labels you should bookmark

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