There and back again: 2009 to 2021

a lake with rushes in the foreground, water then banks of trees on a lovely cloudy day

How to found a business on holiday!

The year was 2009, when on a sunny summer’s day in Canada Jane Langley decided to found a new business. 

Hold on a sec. Canada? Blue Patch is all about sustainable British and Irish brands. Why Canada?

Well, gentle reader, a nice holiday can do wonders for the brain and in the summer of 2009, Jane was enjoying a week of bliss by the side of a beautiful Canadian lake.

What was on her mind, you ask, that she came up with the seed that led to Blue Patch? Why, concern for the environment, the demise of independent local business, the plight of small business owners. That kind of thing. 

Being an artist, she began to doodle her musings. You know how artists are. Any sign of creative impetus and out come their notebooks. What resulted was a page full of ideas that would eventually lead to the creation of Blue Patch.

drawing of a mind map showing categorise for a directory, connected by pathways
The Original Doodle

Respecting the planet

A year or so later, Jane went to a series of lectures during the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity, about species collapse and that did it for her. She decided that she needed to do something.

Finally, action! Well, almost.

Several conversations and a lot of brainstorming later, she decided that people like to shop. We do, don’t we?

At the time, there were plenty of online marketplaces, but none exclusively for high-end, sustainable British brands. This was it, the moment that Jane jumped headfirst into the rabbit hole.

photo of the first Blue Patch website showing products, a lamp, stool, wallpaper and a chair on wooden floor
second photo of the original Blue Patch website showing an orange feather light, a green wall, a wind turbine and cookery school on an online directory

Helping the environment was a key driver for the concept, and so Blue Patch was launched in September 2014 as a social enterprise, putting people and the planet before profit with a focus on renewables and local communities. Jane also gave up flying by signing the 10:10 pledge and has travelled by train ever since. 10:10 is now called Possible.

The new sustainable directory launches

Six years later, Blue Patch looks quite different on the outside, but the heart of its mission remains the same: to support British and Irish sustainable brands, invest in renewable energy and tackle climate change one sustainable purchase at a time.

You can read about our business model here.