The winners of the 2023 Westfield Grand Prix
We are excited to announce that the German start-up Airpaq has been named the winner of the Westfield Grand Prix, our international competition to find and accelerate the next generation of sustainable businesses. Airpaq creates upcycled products such as backpacks, bags and accessories from used car parts. Its entire value creation process is geared towards sustainability and fair wages are paid to everyone involved in the manufacture of its products.
The announcement of the Grand Prix winner followed four national finals that took place across Europe. In total, 310 start-ups took part in the competition across five countries and 15,000 people voted in the People’s Choice awards.
In the Austria & Germany competition – where Airpaq won its national final – CleanlyEco was named a People’s Choice winner. The start-up creates biodegradable laundry detergent with minimised packaging waste and transport emissions.
Airpaq and CleanlyEco at the German final
At the French national final, Biicou, a retailer specialising in reconditioned and second-hand baby clothes and baby care items, carried off the top prize. Additional prizes went to Savane & Mousson, a restaurant concept fusing African and Asian flavours, and Lolo Paris, a sustainable lingerie brand.
Biicou, Savane & Mousson and Lolo Paris, winners in France
National finals were held in the UK on October 2, with prizes going to Known Source, a community-based second-hand fashion marketplace, and another clothing start-up – The Seam, which specialises in repairing, tailoring and customising garments to extend their lifecycle.
Known Source wins the UK final
The last national competition wrapped up in Spain on October 5, with eight sustainable start-ups pitching to an expert jury. The ultimate winner was PJ. Lobster, an eyewear brand that offers premium-quality prescription lenses and frames designed in Barcelona, with the People’s Choice Award going to Qisu, a brand that designs the personalised but sustainable products for dogs and their owners.
The PJ. Lobster and Qisu teams at the Spanish final
All Grand Prix winners will be given a free lease of up to one year in a Westfield centre in their region, tailored support from URW experts and a special advertising plan developed by our in-house retail media agency Westfield Rise. Airpaq will benefit from additional support to scale the brand nationally and internationally.
About the Westfield Grand Prix
The Grand Prix was created in 2007 to identify the most promising brands in the retail, food, leisure and service sectors. In 2023, we expanded the concept into the Westfield Grand Prix, an annual competition taking place in the UK, France, Spain and Germany-Austria, which recognises and rewards the sustainable retail champions of tomorrow. The competition forms part of URW’s broader support for small and local entrepreneurs, enabling them to bring new, cutting-edge concepts to consumers, as well as URW’s ongoing commitment to support the sustainable transformation of retail.
Each year, we call for entries from young businesses and start-ups across retail, leisure, dining, entertainment, health & wellbeing, and services, whose solutions facilitate responsible consumption and sustainable living. A panel of experts in each territory picks a winner and there are separate People’s Choice awards in each competition, voted for by visitors to our shopping centres. Learn more here: https://grandprix.westfield.com/
Thanks also go out to Good On You, the sustainable ratings company that helped us in creating the competition criteria and training our judges. Good On You's two co-founders Gordon Renouf and Sandra Capponi also sat on the Westfield Grand Prix judging panel.