Sustainable outdoor clothing brand FINDRA picked up the coveted Small Business Scotland Award at the 20th VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards.
They awards celebrate innovative Scottish businesses implementing environmental best practice.
Alex Feechan, FINDRA founder and CEO, picked up the VIBES Small Business Scotland Award at the Glasgow ceremony.
More than 400 business figures gathered at a prestigious awards ceremony at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Glasgow Central to see 12 diverse Scottish companies rewarded for their commitment to sustainability.
Innerleithen-based FINDRA was awarded the Small Business Scotland Award, sponsored by University of Stirling Management School, for the company’s efforts in producing clothing which is made from merino wool, a natural fibre which is renewable and biodegradable.
Products are made using Seamless Performance technology, which produces high-quality garments without seams, generating 30% less waste compared to traditional processes.
The Scottish Borders business was amongst the finalists selected across 11 categories, which recognise the different ways that sustainable best practice can be implemented. Categories included: Leadership Scotland, Innovating Scotland, Product Scotland, Service Scotland, Hydro Nation Scotland, Circular Scotland, Moving Scotland, Adapting Scotland, Engaging Scotland, Partnership Scotland and Small Business Scotland.
Alex Feechan said: ‘Sustainability and innovation are at the heart of everything we do at FINDRA. We are committed to producing clothing which combines natural or recycled raw materials with innovative manufacturing. It is a real honour to have won this award.
‘We were up against tough competition from some fantastic businesses. It is great to see so many inspiring Scottish businesses making such a commitment to sustainability.
‘FINDRA will be five years old in December and winning this award is a great way to start our celebrations.
‘We are committed to doing whatever we can to reduce our impact on the environment and deliver a sustainable future. A spotlight has been shone on the fashion industry and the extensive supply chain behind it, highlighting the massive contribution that fast fashion and our buying habits make to landfill sites.
‘We are proud to receive the VIBES award in the Small Business Scotland category, which recognises the work that we do to counter this, and we hope it will also inspire other companies to play their part.’
The 2019 event marked 20 years of VIBES which, over the years, has recognised 220 businesses for their commitment to sustainability. The announcement of the winners follows a rigorous judging process which included a written application, three rounds of judging panels and a site visit for each of the 36 shortlisted businesses, to assess their environmental processes.
Bob Downes, chair of SEPA and head of the VIBES judging panel, said: ‘The scale of the environmental challenge facing humanity, from climate change to plastics in our oceans, is enormous, with a real urgency to act. The most successful businesses in the future will be those that are not just compliant, but which are also low carbon, low material use, low water use and low waste, and which see environmental excellence as an opportunity. This is at the core of SEPA’s One Planet Prosperity regulatory strategy.
‘It is very encouraging to see the diverse range of businesses, small and large, which are taking important steps to reduce their impact on the environment and which understand how environmental excellence can also benefit their bottom line. I would like to congratulate each of this year’s winning businesses and organisations, and hope that others will be inspired to follow in their footsteps.’
Each of the 2019 VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards winners – is now eligible to enter the next European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE), which is open to winners and runners up of RSA Accredited award schemes. VIBES is the only Scotland-based RSA Accredited award scheme.