You can walk past some top-class companies and brands without noticing – literally. Glutton, a Belgian firm from Andenne in Wallonia, is one of these. This being despite the fact that it is improving the appeal of more than 6,000 towns and cities in 70 countries worldwide – and their quality of life – by sucking up waste and sweeping public spaces clean.
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For eight seasons, Christian Lange, the CEO of Glutton, was piling up Belgian, European and world titles in karting and Formula Ford championships, before setting up a specialist store for gardening equipment and tools in 1988. He had also taken a graduate course in marketing in the meantime. For his dissertation, he carried out extensive market research into the potential of gardening equipment for private use in the Namur region, the garden area sizes, the average income of Namur residents and how much they spent on a lawnmower. While gardeners, professional gardening contractors and town councils easily found their way to his company, he was hatching a plan for a non-seasonal product that would leave the competition standing.
The result in 2019 was a sucker for urban waste and a street-sweeping machine, both specifically designed for their deservedly demanding task. No bottle, tin, cigarette butt, sweet wrapper or dog mess is safe from these fully electric, efficient, environmentally friendly, compact, quiet, nimble, self-propelled and ergonomic devices, which are also cheap to run.