Technological watch

The German Ecodesign Award 2023 goes to twelve pioneering projects 

The jury of the German Ecodesign Award 2023
Members of the jury from left to right: Siddharth Prakash | Anja Hanslik representing Dr. Bettina Hoffmann MdB | Werner Aisslinger | Dr. Bettina Rechenberg | Prof. Dr. Claudia Perren | Prof. Matthias Held | Prof. em. Anna Berkenbusch | Prof. em. Günter Horntrich | Prof. Friederike von Wedel-Parlow. Source: Sandra Kühnapfel © IDZHow the transformation to sustainability can be made with the consideration of creativity, is to be shown par example from the honoured talents of the German Ecodesign award 2023. This year twelve Projects were awarded with the eligible prize. This contest will be announced again at the 22th of January, 2024.

Steffi Lemke MdB, Federal Minister for the Environment (BMUV): “Truly sustainable products are designed in such a way that they are durable as a whole or in individual pieces and can be used repeatedly. If repairability and recycling are considered long before production, then this would help to save materials and resources and to reduce CO2 emissions. The German Ecodesign Award stands for the symbiosis of outstanding design and ecology – for products and services in equal measure. The twelve prize winners show how the future can be shaped. We need such innovations to be able to contribute to the reduction of resource consumption.” 
Dr. Lilian Busse, UBA? Vice President: “I am enthusiastic about the range of forward-looking projects. The award-winning projects act as a beacon for the whole industry and can trigger a surge of change. The efficient use of resources as well as improved design reduce the environmental impacts of products throughout their entire life cycle.” 

The German Ecodesign Award went to the following projects: 

Young talent category 
  • Layers of Value | Virginia Reil (Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle, Sachsen-Anhalt) 
    “Layers of Value” is a new method of using industrial textile waste. Fabric remnants are combined in layers and connected, for example, by embroidery. This results in limited editions that are used in interior design and fashion. 
  • Product Design of Resource Scarcity | Raphael Jung & Jan Sagasser (Schwäbisch Gmünd University of Design, Baden-Württemberg) 
    The design guidelines for the production of consumer electronics take user behaviour into account, in addition to the industrial aspects. This shows how design can lead to a more conscious approach to products, their appreciation and repair. 
  • Wrap it up | Lukas Henneberger (Berlin University of the Arts) 
    “Wrap it up” is a reusable alternative to single-use PE stretch film and multi-material fall prevention for trolleys. The hundred percent TPU foil keeps rolling containers stable and holds the stored goods in place. 
Concept category Raincoat made of collagen
  • GOLD – textiles made of collagen | WINT Design Lab (Headquarters: Berlin) 
    The research project “GOLD” studies goldbeater’s skin, a type of membrane found in the cow’s stomach, in order to develop a recyclable, bio-based, high-performance textile. The special material properties are demonstrated in a lightweight rain coat. 
Service category 
  • Circular Experience Library | (Headquarters: Wiesbaden, Hessen) 
    The platform provides designers and companies with free UX components. The library starts with a total of 72 UX design patterns, each of which is based on a (digital) circular economy use case such as repair, refurbish or recycle. 
  • Digital material flow management | N1 Trading GmbH (Headquarters: Dossenheim, Baden-Württemberg) 
    The software solution “Site Depot” supports construction companies and building material manufacturers in detecting recycling potentials and managing material flows. The functionality of the SaaS solution spans all construction phases, from planning to disposal. 
  • Repair Rebels | Repair Rebels GmbH (Headquarters: Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen) 
    The platform offers repairs and modification services for shoes and clothing. Its goal is to make repairs both accessible and attractive, whilst at the same time supporting local handicraft businesses. 
Product category 
  • Mono Vest – circular and local | Neumühle Switzerland GmbH  (Headquarters: Zürich, Switzerland) 
    The “Mono-Vest” is made out of a single family of materials, making it easy to recycle. It is strictly designed according to the principles of the circular economy and is produced in Europe within a radius of 380km. 
  • PureSoft – toilet paper of the future | WEPA Professional GmbH (Headquarters: Arnsberg-Müschede, North Rhine-Westphalia) 
    “Satino PureSoft” is recycled toilet paper made from corrugated paper and packaging board. Additionally, used paper towels can be integrated into the cycle of new toilet paper production, by developing a nationwide collection system. 
  • hansgrohe Planet Edition | Hansgrohe SE (Headquarters: Schiltach, Baden-Württemberg), Phoenix Design GmbH + Co. KG (Headquarters: Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg) 
    The water-saving shower head “hansgrohe Planet Edition” uses only 6 litres of water per minute and is made out of recycled and recyclable materials. 
  • KLIMASTEIN | GODELMANN GmbH & Co. KG (Headquarters: Fensterbach, Bayern) 
    The fully recyclable paving surface covers surfaces without sealing them. This means that it prevents flooding, gradually feeds the retained rainwater to trees and ground water, and actively cools overheated cities. 
  • Reet Aus UPMADE collection | Aus Design OÜ (Headquarters: Tallinn, Estland) 
    The “Reet Aus UPMADE collection” uses industrial upcycling to incorporate textile waste that occurs from cutting before the clothing is finished into new production. 
Since 2012, the German Ecodesign Award has been organised interannually by the Federal Environment Ministry and the German Environment Agency together with the International Design Center Berlin. The competition honours work that is outstanding from an environmental and design perspective, in the four categories of product, service, concept and young talent. It is addressed to companies of all sizes and diverse industries, as well as students throughout Europe.
Innovative content, design quality and environmental aspects are the main factors considered when evaluating entries. Impacts on everyday culture and consumer behaviour are also taken into account. The whole life cycle of the product is considered, from the preliminary stages of production, through to manufacturing, distribution and use, right up to end of life. The German Ecodesign Award’s  and the German Environment Agency’s  help applicants understand which ecological aspects can be considered in the design process. 

The competition will be announced again on the 22nd of January 2024 throughout Europe. 
The German Ecodesign award jury 2023 
  • Werner Aisslinger (Product Designer)
  • Anna Berkenbusch (Communication Designer, Professor Emerita at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle)
  • Matthias Held (Product Designer, Professor at the Schwäbisch Gmünd University of Design)
  • Dr Bettina Hoffmann MdB (Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUV))
  • Günter Horntrich (Product Designer, Professor Emerita for Design and Ecology at the KISD – Cologne International School of Design)
  • Bettina Rechenberg (Head of Department III “Sustainable Products and Production, Circular Economy” at the German Environment Agency (UBA))
  • Dr. Claudia Perren (Architect, Director of the Basel Academy of Art and Design)
  • Siddharth Prakash (Head of the Circular Economy and Global Value Chains Group in the Product and Material Flows Division at the Öko-Institut in Freiburg)
  • Friederike von Wedel-Parlow (Fashion Designer, Founder of the Beneficial Design Institute)
Pictures Winners 2023Circular Experience Library, (ZIP, 6.3 MB)
Digital material flow management, (ZIP, 11.13 MB)
GOLD – Textiles from collagen, (ZIP, 27.78 MB)
hansgrohe Planet Edition, (ZIP, 3.24 MB)
Layers of Value, (ZIP, 15.59 MB)
Mono Vest – Circular and local, (ZIP, 20.33 MB)
Product Design of Ressource Scarcity, (ZIP, 32.6 MB)
Reet Aus UPMADE collection, (ZIP, 2.61 MB)
Repair Rebels, (ZIP, 6.69 MB)
Satino PureSoft – Hygiene paper of the future, (ZIP, 1.19 MB)
Wrap it up, (ZIP, 34.88 MB)
Group picture of the award ceremony 2023, (JPG, 1.16 MB) Credits: Sandra Kühnapfel © IDZ

Publication date: 11/01/2024

Author: Marion Kupfer

Bio-based News


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.