A TEES Valley company that makes performance sportswear out of waste products has been named North-East Ethical Green Business of the Year.

GRN Sportswear of Middlesbrough makes its sportswear from products including plastic bottles and abandoned fishing nets and won the title at the Federation of Small Business’ (FSB’s) Celebrating Small Business Awards held at the Sage, Gateshead.

Pete Lillie, from the company, said: “We at GRN want to make a positive difference to both the environment and the economy with a goal of creating a truly profitable and circular economic model. Winning this award has helped us showcase how we are achieving our goals.”

Other winners included DNA testing company Genomics Ltd, of Lanchester, which took the Business and Product Innovation Award for its new brand ChXout, which provides DNA analysis services.

Ted Salmon, FSB North East representative, said: “The sheer scale and diversity of those who entered is a testimony to the vitality of the small business community in the North-East.”

The winners, who all go through to the national finals in May, were. –

Business and Product Innovation: Genomics Ltd trading as ChXout, of Lanchester – a sexing service for peregrines and gyrfalcons from the egg membranes of newly-hatched chicks.

Business Exporter: Seaweed & Co, North Shields, supplies seaweed products to some of the biggest food manufacturers in the UK, as well as distributors in Europe, USA, Australia, Israel and South Korea.

Digital Business: Mabo Media, Middlesbrough. Specialist agency delivering a high end, low cost PPC management service to SMEs.

Employer of the Year: Active Chartered Financial Planners, Thornaby, a team of specialist financial advisers.

Ethical Green Business: GRN Sportswear, Middlesbrough, produces cycling and athletic wear for teams and individuals out of waste products. Every jersey uses seven recycled plastic bottles and uses 60 per cent less energy and 94 per cent less water to produce than alternatives.

Family Business: Stablewood Leisure, Belford. Owned by the Johnson family, the company has 26 cottages as well as The Apple Inn and The Apple Core, Alnwick Ford Equestrian and others.

Microbusiness: Gavin Forster Photography, Ouseburn. Wedding and commercial photography business with several international awards.

Scale-up Business: Energy Professionals Group (EPG), Washington. A recruitment agency providing services to SMEs and multinational businesses in the global oil and gas sector.

Start-up Business: Future Skills Vision Ltd, Newcastle. Offers B2B learning and development, education services and business support.

Young Entrepreneur: Shantelle Million, MiCare Plan, Newcastle – an innovative digital system designed for the adult social care sector.

Triumph Over Adversity: ARIAN EMS Ltd, Ashington.

Electronic manufacturer borne out of the closure of another struggling business, saving 24 jobs, increasing sales and creating new employment opportunities.

Community Business: Derwentside Business Network CIC, Consett. Business professionals give their time to DBN at no cost. A forward-looking business network with a growing membership.