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Examples of Environmentally-Friendly Business Ideas If you're passionate about the environment these could be the business ideas for you. Here are 10 examples to give you insights into the industry to ensure your start-up becomes sustainable.

By Nicole Crampton

You're reading Entrepreneur South Africa, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


There is a growing demand by consumers to be more environmentally-friendly. This has created a growing number of green business opportunities. You can open any business from services helping others to be more eco-conscious or offering environmentally friendly products.

Before you launch your green business here are 10 examples of environmentally-friendly business ideas you can learn strategies from:

1. Environmental Publications

Are you interested in running an environmental website, blog, magazine or newsletter? This could be the environmentally-friendly business idea for you. Green publishers typically inform the public about environmental initiatives or trends. Before you launch your start-up, here is an example of an environmentally-friendly business that can offer you insights:

Business Name: The Environmental Blog


Established Date: 2007

About the business:

The Environmental Blog strives to provide information on every aspect of green living, green technology, climate change and green energy. They aim to provide their readers with actionable insights they can use on a daily basis.

Innovative business offering

The Environmental Blog uses their platform to involve their readers in community events, daily changes in habits, and local, national and international dialogues to influence the "green movement'.


2. Package Free Shopping

There is a large global movement to reduce single-use plastic and packaging. If this is something, you're passionate about and you have the right skills you can create packaging-free options for products.

Before you launch your innovative concept, here is an example of an environmentally friendly business you can gain insights from:

Business Name: Shop Zero


Established Date: 2017

About the business:

Shop Zero offers green options for their customers with little to no packaging. They sell health foods, toiletries, household products and cleaners with no packaging and easy refill/reusable containers.

This allows their customers to buy as much or as little as they need.

Innovative business offering

In addition to these innovative solutions, Shop Zero also offsets their impact with offer-intuitive solutions such as supporting reforestation projects and donating portions of proceeds to ocean conservation.

3. Sustainable construction materials

Do you work in or have experience within the construction industry? You can design sustainable construction materials as your new environmentally-friendly business idea. Before you start brainstorming, here is an example of a business you can learn strategies from:

Business Name: CemteQ


About the business:

CemteQ specialises in developing and marketing unique, value-adding products for the building and construction industries. They use high quality Perlite as an aggregate replacement or partial replacement to produce products with significant insulation, fire-resistance and lightweight properties.


Innovative business offering

They also offer floor and roof screeds, insulation boards, cavity-fill and fire-protection of beams and columns.

4. Bicycle repair and refurbishing

Bicycles are the ultimate in sustainable transport, you can offer repair and refurbishment services to those wanting to use this sustainable form of transportation.

Business Name: Carbon Bike Repair


About the business:

Carbon Bike Repair offers inspection for hidden problems on their client's carbon fibre frame. They also offer repair and warranty to fractures and paint damage. Carbon Bike Repair are renowned for the quality of their paint restoration projects on both new and vintage bikes.

Innovative business offering

In addition to their repair work Carbon Bike Repair also work with insurance companies offering comprehensive inspection reports on damages ensuring the accurate evaluation is made when finalising a claim.

5. Handmade all-natural/organic products

Consumers around the world are looking for chemical-free, natural and organic products of all kinds If you enjoy making your own organic products, this could be the environmentally-friendly business idea for you.

Before you start mixing, here is an example of a successful business that you can gain strategies from:

Business Name: Faithful to Nature


Established Date: 2006

About the business:

Faithful to Nature sells a variety of natural and organic products. They have a strict ingredient policy, which gives their customers piece of mind, because all of their suppliers products have been checked and adhere to their highest standards, as well as being green and safe.


Innovative business offering

They operate an online store only, which allows them to serve the whole country instead of just a handful of locations.

6. Eco-consulting

Do you know how to assist businesses to become sustainable or at least help them to implement environmentally-friendly systems? Then this could be the environmentally-friendly business idea for you. Here is an eco-consulting business you can gain insights from to ensure the success of your start-up:

Business Name: Solid Green Consulting


About the business:

Solid Green Consulting offers property developers and building professionals a range of services to help them in achieving their green building goals.

Innovative business offering

Solid Green Consulting is a member of the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA). They have two people on the GBCSA faculty, who provide training to enhance the understanding of Green Star certification throughout the building industry.

7. 'Upcycled' furniture

Are you good with your hands? Can you make new, interesting and sustainable furniture from left- over parts?Then this could be the environmentally-friendly business idea for you. Before you start haunting second-hand stores, here is an example of a business you can gain strategies from:

Business Name: reMaker


About the business:

reMaker buys, refurbishes and sells furniture online, so that it's clients can buy upcycled, redesigned beautiful environmentally-friendly furniture. They also offer interior decorating and design collaboration services for clients and professionals.

Innovative business offering

In addition to their upcycling offering, they offer furniture makeovers for clients existing furniture. This ensures that the same piece of furniture can be enjoyed for many more years.

8. Second-hand store

Nothing says sustainable like recycling your old things. Instead of throwing away old items you can now put them in a second-hand store, so others can use them.

Business Name: New To You


Established Date: 2010


About the business:

New to You offers second-hand, high quality home décor. Clients can buy and sell quality, gently used décor items. They are very selective about which items they purchase ensuring they maintain a high-end range.

Innovative business offering

In addition to the second-hand store, New to You also offers a showroom for their customers to see their carefully selected pieces in person.

9. Eco-friendly Fashion

Some fabrics can be used many times over, if you have a passion for fashion and the environment, this could be the environmentally-friendly business idea for you. Before you start collecting material, here is an example of an environmentally-friendly business you can gain insights from:

Business Name: People Tree


Established Date: 1991

About the business:

People Tree focuses on making clothing to the highest ethical and environmental standards from start to finish. Their collections feature organic cotton, TENCEL™ Lyocell and responsible wool, and is made using hand weaving, hand knitting, hand embroidery and hand block painting.

Innovative business offering

In addition to their environmentally-friendly clothing, People Tree also support Fair Trade Fortnight, which is an awareness campaign highlighting how many farmers and workers can't afford life's essentials. Proceeds of some items they sell go directly towards supporting this cause.

10. Glass Artist

Nothing is quite as sustainable as glass. If you're good at glass blowing and creating sculptures or stained-glass panels this might be the environmentally-friendly business idea for you.

Before you start heating up the glass, here is an environmentally-friendly business you can gain some insights from:

Business Name: William Morris


About the business:

William Morris specialises in creating objects that appear to be ancient stone or woodcarvings, instead of the modern glass sculptures that they are. His work symbolises the harmony between humanity and nature.

Innovative business offering

In addition to offering unusual and unique glass sculptures, William Morris also gathers much of his inspiration from ancient cultures from around the world.

His work can be found in numerous collections such as: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, United States of America; Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Hokkaido, Japan; Musee Des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France, and London's Victoria and Albert Museum, in England.


Nicole Crampton

Entrepreneur Staff

Sales Enablement - Content Developer

Nicole Crampton is an SEO specialist who contributes to She has studied a BA Journalism at Monash South Africa and has continued her studies with a Creative Writing degree from UNISA. Nicole has completed several courses in writing and online marketing, and continues to hone her skills and expertise in digital media, digital marketing and content creation.

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