MSc Aliki Goritsa and BSc Spiros Fragos are the two textile engineers that created Pepper Valley®, an alternative efficient business model of combining being a brand & manufacturer that for 10 years make it possible to do dedicated research & development, development of prototypes and production of advanced and innovative knitted products putting keeping at the same time unique signature.
A signature that holds a respect for materials and the honesty to deliver technological functional products with a disruptive but sleek design inspired from the Hellenic heritage, while paying respect to nature and skin health. Since 2018 Pepper Valley offers R&D and small-scale production of eco-conscious smart and e-knitted solutions for sports and healthcare among others, that won so far several EU competitions for textile-related innovations in cross-sectoral applications.
Pepper Valley recipe
Pepper Valley stands for freedom – from the idea to the final product. For Pepper Valley team, the core is to work on sustainability, the approach they tried to implement way before it became a trend. The combination of DESIGN + INNOVATION + SUSTAINABILITY is a revolutionary in the textile chain that requires artistic patience and endurance.
This combination brought Pepper Valley team to develop Feel More Knitwear: an e-textile Solution for sports & healthcare. A “science-fiction” sweater that may look like a normal sports sweater but it is not. It is comfortable like a normal one but it is a sensing sweater of your heartbeat (3 Leads Electrocardiogram), respiration & movement, which connects with an APP and uses AI to monitor and communicate your health level in real action.
For pioneers and disruptors like Pepper Valley the road of the innovation journey can be rough, full of surprises and seems like never-ending . For some, it feels like the commitment of having a child – one needs to stay faithful to the belief of making the impossible possible, find the right collaborators that share the same ethos, vision and commitment from an early stage.
Opportunities and challenges
What are the main challenges for startups like Pepper Valley? “The difficult part is to reach the first stage of supporting yourself and your team, thank to which together we manage to reach your first goal. Then persuade people for the team’s capabilities and vision in order for them to join with a generous investment at the first steps. You see people tend to believe you when you have results and sales, but the extreme impact investment is to believe when the others do not.” According to Aliki Goritsa and Spiros Fragos, “If one could compare the innovator’s profile with someone, this would be of an extreme sports athlete. They have in common the same challenges: train to face the unknown and prepare for all scenarios. It can be scary at certain times, but it can be also an enjoyable process. For sure you have to be in love and have a deep, as also spherical understanding of your field and future people’s needs.”
One other important factor for Pepper Valley team is to stay focused on one’s ethos, the initial sparkle and willingness to change people’s lives for a good cause without creating new problems. That means taking the knowledge, experience and well-made products of the past and update them with the technology tool, never try to erase the past and live only for the future.
Startups and SMEs such as Pepper Valley that produce E-textile solutions for sportswear and the healthcare industry in Europe have an important role in the growth of the textile and clothing industries. They impact the competitiveness and inspire the sector with new forms of technologies that serve the people’s needs and sustainable goals.
Source: Textile Focus