From Idea to Impact: Scaling a Sustainable Goods Brand with Freddie Winterbotham, CosyPanda (episode 477)

Freddie Winterbotham is the co-founder at CosyPanda, sellers of sustainable warmth in the shape of hot water bottles and covers. They sell via their Shopify store, wholesale, and collaborations. Founded in 2022 they’ve already achieved £100k in the first 16 months of trading.

Freddie Winterbotham CosyPanda on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

Listen now for free:

Subscribe on your Favourite Podcast App

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts

Dive in:

[04:08] Building products around problems people were struggling with.
[06:29] The exhaustive nature of trade shows.
[08:25] Improving hot water bottles through quality materials.
[10:37] Sustainable materials are used for creative covers.
[14:20] Paid for big press feature, no result.
[18:39] Hot water bottle market not entirely sustainable.
[20:13] Plus, hear Freddie’s Top Tips!

Freddie’s eCommerce Journey

Freddie spent eight years in China, working in education, before deciding to return to the UK. He wanted to create and sell a sustainable product. This coincided with the rising energy bills and the climate crisis, leading him to brainstorm solutions for warmth that were cost-effective and eco-friendly. The idea for CosyPanda was born from recognizing a gap in the market for high-quality, sustainable hot water bottles. Freddie saw the energy crisis not just as a challenge but as an opportunity to address a widespread need with a product that encourages heating the person, not the room, aligning with the growing demand for sustainable, UK-made goods.

About CosyPanda

CosyPanda and Freddie are based between London and the Cotswolds, with a factory located in Wiltshire. While primarily focusing on D2C sales in the UK, CosyPanda has also expanded its reach internationally. They sell in countries like France, Canada, the US, Japan, and Germany, both through direct sales and wholesale channels like

The key aspects of CosyPanda’s hot water bottles are focused on improving the traditional product with high-quality rubber for durability and better heat retention. The significant innovation lies in the covers, which are designed for comfort, style, hypoallergenic properties, and durability. Freddie said he aimed to address the overlooked potential of the hot water bottle covers, making them a central feature of CosyPanda’s product line.

Wholesale, Trade Fairs, and D2C Events

CosyPanda’s wholesale strategy includes their participation in FAIRE and Top Drawer, a physical trade show in London. They also joined the D2C Spirit of Christmas Fair, where Freddie says there is more direct customer feedback and interaction. For him, this kind of event offers better learning and sales opportunities than trade shows. He also mentions that early on, he engaged with boutiques and similar companies through Instagram, whom he now sells direct to as well.

Marketing Highs and Lows

Freddie shares his experience with CosyPanda’s marketing efforts. Freddie says they’re happy with Facebook advertising for its powerful impact and valuable data on click-throughs and sales. He regrets not starting with Facebook ads earlier and emphasizes the importance of directly managing these campaigns to understand the brand’s marketing essence fully. His hands-on approach has allowed him to learn and maintain control over CosyPanda’s marketing strategy.

On the other hand, he says their paid press strategy was disappointing. He found that the high costs and low engagement didn’t justify the investment, contrasting sharply with the organic press’s better benefits. 

A Focus on Product Quality and Sustainability

Freddie initially focused CosyPanda’s marketing on its sustainability, branding it as the “most sustainable hot water bottle.” However, he learned that while sustainability is important, it often ranks as a secondary concern for the mass market compared to the product’s direct benefits, such as cost savings and warmth. As a result, CosyPanda adjusted its marketing strategy to not solely focus on sustainability but also highlight the practical and comfort aspects of their product. Freddie notes that materials like bamboo and organic cotton are valued not only for their environmental benefits but also for their quality and comfort, indicating a broader consumer preference for products that offer multiple benefits, including sustainability.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Editorial-style ads on Facebook with a nice picture or video and a substantial amount of text, around 350 words

Tool Top Tip

  • Miro visual workspace

Carbon Top Tip

  • Create products that are made to last. Use quality materials instead of opting for materials that seem environmentally friendly but may not offer durability. Consumers now recognize and value quality, and they are willing to purchase durable, long-lasting products.

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • Getting your first 400 wholesale accounts with Bare Kind’s Lucy Jeffrey (episode 402)
  • High Growth Success for a D2C Brand with Mark Rushmore, SURI (episode 460)
  • How to grow a Shopify Yoga brand including Wholesale with Valka Yoga’s Danny Garg (episode 467)

Without the sponsors the podcast wouldn’t be possible – please do check them out:


SHOPLINE is the preferred commerce platform built to simplify complexities for fast-growing enterprises.

Whether it is setting up more sales channels like social commerce or expanding to new markets globally, SHOPLINE takes care of everything from store setups, checkouts, payments, logistics and more!

🛠️ All-in-One Platform: From store setups and checkouts to payments and logistics, SHOPLINE handles it all!

🌐 Asia’s Best now in UK: With our headquarters in Singapore and offices in 13 countries across Asia, the UK, Australia, and America, we have served more than 600,000+ merchants across the world including Lego, Muji and more

📢 You don’t want to miss a chance to migrate and join the league of InTheStyle, BodyCare, and 100+ others who have chosen us! We are just a call away…

Full transcript to read & download:

Click to access

Like to be a guest? Apply Here

Join Chloe’s eCommerce Club!

Our little online club for online retailers is growing… and we’d love you to be a part of it.

We’re still in beta, still MVP, so it’s a great time to get involved so we can optimise the club based on YOUR feedback.

So – apply now to be in the next group we invite to join us!

It’s totally free to join, and Chloe will be hanging out there ready to help with your challenges every day. Join now!