Material Matter: Dress Yourself in Orange
The following article is courtesy of The Sustainable Angle, a not for profit organization initiating and supporting projects that contribute to minimizing environmental degradation, while helping businesses and individuals make informed decisions when it comes to sustainability. Their Future Fabrics Expo focuses on introducing the fashion industry to innovative materials with a lower environmental impact.
In a time where fertile land is fast becoming a limited natural resource, innovative solutions are needed. The Italian Start-up Orange Fiber uses citrus waste, a by-product from the Italian juice industry to produce high quality textile fibres with a low environmental impact.
Sicily has a massive production of citrus juice, which every year also leaves around 700 tons of wastematerials.
The two co-founders of Orange Fiber, Adriana Santanocito and Enrica Arena, saw the potential in this and developed a system where Orange Fiber converts orange peels, a by-product from the Sicilian juice industry, into high qualitative cellulose fibres. The Sustainable Angle asked Orange Fiber a few questions about their innovation and what they believe the future holds for the textile industry.
TSA: Can you provide a brief outline about what Orange Fiber is and how it has evolved since its inception?
OF: Orange Fiber is an Italian company that uses an innovative process to creates sustainable textiles for Fashion from citrus fruit by-products. Having created a supply chain network with partner companies we opened the first industrial plant in Sicily and produced different prototypes. The first textile production has been completed and some interesting top fashion brand proposals are being evaluated in view of entering the market by 2016.
TSA: What first inspired you to start to develop Orange Fiber?
OF: Orange Fiber’s idea is the result of a deep love for our homeland of Sicily, blended with the desire to innovate in a sustainable way; the Italian industry, known for its excellence in textile production.
The Orange Fiber supply chain from citrus by-product through spinning, weaving and finishing is our contribution towards sustainable fashion practice and economic, social and environmental development.
In 2011, Adriana Santanocito was studying Fashion Design and innovative materials at Afol Moda Institute of Milan, when she heard of the sustainable textiles trend, and decided to explore the subject in her thesis. By simply discussing this with citrus juice producers she discovered the problem behind the disposal of citrus waste and had the intuition to transform citrus juice by-products into a new product that would represent a brand new opportunity for Italian tradition in high quality fashion textiles. She shared the idea with Enrica Arena, and with creativity and will, they started Orange Fiber.
TSA: Can you tell us about any positive environmental / social impacts you have seen or expect to see as a result of Orange Fiber?
To continue reading this interview, click here.
The Sustainable Angle is delighted to invite you to the 6th Future Fabrics Expo at Iris Studios in London. The Expo will showcase innovative and traditional commercially viable fibres, fabrics, and products that embody a range of sustainable principles and new technologies, sourced from international suppliers and mills who demonstrate a commitment to lowering environmental impact across the textile supply chain.
This year will also include two days of extensive seminars featuring speakers from The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, The Responsible Wool Standard, Textile Exchange, GOTS, and DANI S.p.A. Sustainable Leathers.
Book your tickets here!