Peek into the neighbours: These sustainable businesses are doing well in Belgium

Peek into the neighbours: These sustainable businesses are doing well in Belgium


Antwerp ecoBirdy collects old plastic toys and recycles them into designer furniture for children and adults. The new material is made up of 100 percent of this waste, so the furniture itself is fully recyclable and the circuit stays closed. It took two years of research to develop the right recycling technology.

Each piece comes with a children’s book that explains the circular design in a simple, childlike way. The aim is to introduce young former owners of collectible toys to the circular economy at an early stage and inspire them to contribute to a more sustainable future. The business model has resulted in several awards such as the Henry van de Velde Ecodesign by OVAM Award in 2019.


Revive explores underdeveloped lands to revive them – socially and ecologically. This means that they do not occupy any green spaces, but rather transform old industrial environments into lively neighborhoods with lots of green spaces. To this end, it uses innovative and energy-saving technologies such as cross-laminated lumber (CLT) as an alternative to cement, concrete and steel. CLT reduces the need to heat homes and removes carbon dioxide from the air rather than creating emissions.

An example of a project is the former industrial site of Sidaplex, a producer of biopolymer films. In 2021 the industrial site has given way to the ‘RUTE’ green community, with 105 greenhouses, equipped with heat pumps and green roofs.


The first clothing bookstore was opened in Belgium. In 2020, funding has been finalized and the platform can go online. After years of puzzling, the business model became viable, including complex operational issues such as warehousing, laundry, and the logistics of distributing clothes among various borrowers.

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Dressr’s mission is to persuade consumers to borrow clothes more often and thus reduce overproduction of clothes. Customers can borrow items at once for 10 days or purchase a membership from €39 per month for two items. The platform differentiates itself from international competitors such as Rent the Runway through its local approach. The range is limited to sustainable and independent Benelux brands.

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