Eco clothing designers are female entrepreneurs of the year


The annual Womed award for female entrepreneurs in Flanders went to the duo behind Froy & Dind, which designs and makes ecologically responsible clothing for women and kids

‘Innovative, sustainable approach’

Adinda De Raedt and Froya Deryckere of Froy & Dind in Antwerp have been named entrepreneurs of the year by Women in Enterprise and Development (Womed). Womed is a joint venture between Unizo, which represents the self-employed, and Markant, the Flemish network for female entrepreneurs.

Froy & Dind designs and sells ecological clothing for women and children. Their line, launched in 2008, is now available in shops around the world, as well as online and in their flagship store in Antwerp’s Nationalestraat. The business directly employs 13 people.

The two started off with the idea of selling clothes made from sustainable materials – nothing in cotton, for example – but stock proved difficult to source. So they decided to design and make their own collection. 

The Womed jury praised their “innovative, sustainable approach, their modern staff policy based on competency, and the strong strategic sense that allowed them to put themselves on the international map from early on”. Queen Mathilde and Flemish economy and innovation minister Philippe Muyters were present at the ceremony to hand over the prize.

Also receiving an award was Eef Coolen, voted most promising woman entrepreneur for her company Bolster, which designs and maintains gardens. The jury said she was “not only interested in sustainability in the ecological sense, but also in customer relations and in her motivational personnel policy”. 

Finally, the Womed Zuid prize is given in co-operation with the Brussels non-profit organisation Trias, which assists small-business owners and start-ups in the developing world. This year’s award went to Gloria Isabel, whose business Mujeres en armonía con la naturaleza (Women in Harmony with Nature) sells natural shampoo, soap and cleaning products in El Salvador.

Photo, from left: Queen Mathilde, Froya Deryckere, Adinda De Raedt and Philippe Muyters
©Philippe Muyters/Twitter