Elegnano: best of both worlds

  • Start-ups & scale-ups
  • Win-win loan
  • Start

It's a challenge to convey technical engineering into something that the general public appreciates.

Katrien Herdewyn, founder Elegnano

Putting science into an attractive design and thus taking a step towards a better world. That’s what Katrien Herdewyn is doing with her shoe label Elegnano.

“To partly counterbalance current ‘fast fashion’ by using technology to make products more sustainable,” is how Herdewyn sums up the philosophy behind her shoe brand. By encasing the leather fibres in tiny ‘posts’, she makes the Elegnano shoes moisture- and dirt-resistant. Nanotechnology is thus embedded in a chemical process that is part of leather tanning.

Commercial model

Herdewyn’s love for shoes thus managed to combine it with her training as a civil engineer in materials technology. This led to the Elegnano shoe line for women, which has been on the market since 2015. In late 2019, she also added a more limited men’s collection. For her start-up, Herdewyn took advantage of the Winwin loan. “You have a long investment path in fashion before money comes in. The Winwin Loan turned out to be a suitable form of financing, where I also avoided the risk of not being able to repay.”

Visit the website Elegnano