Beltzung still recalls the excitement she felt when dimpora started producing on a bigger scale, as well as the moment when she and Stucki saw their membrane in an end product for the first time. “Having the initial jacket prototype in our hands and putting it on, that really made us proud,” she says with a smile. Since then, dimpora has grown rapidly. “Winning the Global Change Award with the H&M Foundation definitely helped,” states Beltzung. “It was money we could really use to continue developing the membrane as we wanted. We could postpone the need for external investors and instead center our energy on the scientific research. I am extremely grateful for this because science forms the core of our brand and is one of our biggest assets. Dimpora’s fluorine-free membrane is designed with great precision and relies on advanced technologies. As scientists, we are at the forefront of research and innovation, but this also means that we have set the standards for dimpora extremely high.”
Sustainability has played a major role in Beltzung’s life since her childhood. With a mother ahead of her time that already refused to use plastic bags for groceries in the nineties, Beltzung grew up conscious of her ecological footprint. Later in life, Beltzung decided to also make sustainability a topic in her research: “I think the point when I first felt the desire to actively fight climate change came up during my master’s. That’s when I performed extensive research on new materials and plastics chemistry, creating for example a CO2 filter. What I’m most proud of though is a tracer I designed in my PhD thesis. These are particles I developed to help track microplastic pollution and numerous research groups use them.”
The only downside: Anna Beltzung now encounters major difficulties when looking for new wardrobe staples. “I have never been an irresponsible shopper, but with all the knowledge that I have now, I find it really hard to buy clothes with a clear conscience,” she says and adds: “Maybe I should check out Staiy.” That would be an honour for us, Dr. Beltzung!