Mainz, 18 October 2019 – Gelatex Technologies from Estonia has won the Green Alley Award 2019. The winning idea is a gelatine-based alternative to conventional leather. The jury was particularly impressed with the high level of innovation of the Gelatex Technologies product. The environmentally friendly alternative to leather is made from low-value gelatine waste from the meat and leather industries. The textile is produced without the use of toxins and is organic and biodegradable. The ability to customise the thickness and texture makes Gelatex attractive for both the textile and automotive industry.
Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of Landbell Group, is very happy with this year’s winner: ‘We have been organising the Green Alley Award since 2014 and every year we discover unusual circular economy ideas from the startup sector,’ he says. ‘Once again this year, we have seen good concepts and taken away important inspiration. We presented the Green Alley Award to Gelatex Technologies because they have developed an environmentally friendly alternative to leather – a material widely used in the textile and automotive industries. Making a new product from a waste product is fully in line with the circular economy and therefore worthy of the award.’
Märt-Erik Martens, CTO of Gelatex Technologies, explains the added value offered by the circular economy idea: ‘With Gelatex we want to offer an alternative to leather that is both more environmentally friendly and more affordable,’ he says. ‘The Green Alley Award endorses our green approach: sustainability plays a key role in the circular economy and we are delighted that we were able to convince the jury with our idea.’
The Green Alley Award is the first European startup prize for the circular economy. Landbell Group has been rewarding startups whose ideas help make the sector more sustainable since 2014. In 2019 it received entries from 274 startups in over 30 countries, with business models in the areas of digital circular economy, recycling and waste prevention. In September this year, Landbell Group nominated six finalists proposing green alternatives to conventional materials, or biodegradable packaging. ‘Startups are important actors in a sector that is increasingly striving for innovation,’ says Schulz. ‘Gelatex Technologies has not only developed an idea, but something with great market potential.’
The Green Alley Award comes with prize money of €25,000 and the option of a crowdfunding campaign with Landbell Group’s partner, Seedmatch.