Pioneering Sustainability: Balena's Recent Achievements in Material Science

Balena news
May 6, 2024

Our portfolio company, Balena, a leader in material science technology, continues to make significant strides with three recent accomplishments.

Balena has secured one of the most credible industrial compostability certifications - DIN CertCO. This validation confirms their materials are fully biodegradable and compostable, enhancing trust with customers and reinforcing their sustainability claims.

Additionally, a recent collaboration with Variable Seams has reached the finalist stage at the esteemed 3D Pioneers Challenge, alongside a spot Balena have secured in the Fashion for Good 2024 Innovation Programme.

Balena continues to make steps forward in their journey towards transforming the materials industry.

Stamp of Approval

Last week, as the world celebrated World Earth Day, Balena obtained a crucial compostability certification for their BioCir material, establishing it as a fully compostable and circular alternative.

DIN CERTCO, part of the German Institute for Standardization, is renowned for its rigorous testing and certification processes, ensuring products meet high standards of quality, safety, and environmental compatibility.

Specifically for biodegradable and compostable materials, such as those developed by Balena, DIN CERTCO offers certifications that validate environmental impact claims, confirming their compliance with stringent environmental standards. This certification is a significant regulatory approval, demonstrating Balena’s materials’ true capability to decompose.

Maria Zherebtsova, Investment Director at Raw Ventures, emphasises the significance of this milestone: “This validation confirms Balana's claims that their materials are fully biodegradable and compostable. It's crucial to back up the assertions made to their customers. The biodegradability certification augments the bio-based material content certification they already possess. So, this is a strong endorsement for the material.” 

The certification not only backs Balena's claims about their materials but will continue to enhance trust with their customers, and reinforce the authenticity of Balena’s environmental initiatives.

Amidst an industry laden with the overused terms 'sustainable' and 'biodegradable,' Balena stands out through the practical application of these principles. Under the leadership of founder, David Roubach, and his team, Balena is pioneering truly sustainable practices by focusing on the critical issue of a product's end-of-life journey.

Through these efforts, Balena's commitment to material science and genuine sustainability is clear, reflecting their innovative approach and the strong confidence that Raw Ventures has in their mission.

3D Pioneers Challenge Finalist:

Balena has also produced a recent collaboration with Variable Seams to showcase their FlexTex3D technology. Through this, Balena have also earned them a spot as a finalist in the 3D Pioneers Challenge - an international competition celebrating the most innovative developments in additive manufacturing and advanced technologies across various industries.

The partnership with Variable Seams has yielded a collection of flexible, ready-to-wear 3D-printed garments that merge style with sustainability. Led by Brigitte Kock, Variable Seams is a modular 3D fashion design initiative that innovates through 3D printing technology. Its focus on modular design allows for customisable, adaptive clothing, tailored to individual preferences without the waste of traditional mass production.

The garments, made with Balena's compostable FlexTex3D technology, highlight a significant shift towards reducing the fashion industry's reliance on non-renewable resources by offering a practical, stylish, and fully biodegradable alternative.

Fashion for Good 2024 Innovation Programme:

Further solidifying their innovative edge, Balena has been selected to participate in the Fashion for Good 2024 Innovation Programme. 

Fashion for Good is a global initiative that aims to drive the transformation of the fashion industry toward sustainability and social responsibility. Launched with the support of founding partner C&A Foundation, it operates as a platform where various stakeholders, including brands, producers, retailers, suppliers, non-profit organisations, innovators, and funders come together to foster change.The Innovation Programme, which Balena will enter, supports promising startups in scaling their technologies and solutions. These innovations typically involve materials, production processes, products, or end-of-life solutions that are more sustainable. The selected innovators receive guidance, resources, and opportunities to collaborate with leading brands and manufacturers to pilot and implement their technologies.