Sometimes an intuition can lead to a great project. Innovation, sustainability and quality to make the world a better place: these are the ingredients of the idea of two young Italian women, Adriana and Enrica. Their dream comes true by pioneering an innovative process to extract cellulose from citrus juice by-product, transforming it into a refined, high-quality fabric. Their project brings together two pillars from the Italian heritage, textiles and food, and responds to the need of innovation and sustainability in the fashion industry.
In 2014 Adriana Santanocito was a student of Fashion Design at AFOL Moda – Milano, specializing in textiles, materials and new fashion technology. She knew about the huge amount of citrus juice byproduct, the so-called “pastazzo,” thrown away everyday in her Sicily and proposed a sustainable fabric from citrus byproducts for her thesis. She shared her idea with her Sicilian roommate, Enrica Arena, so they started Orange Fiber, with the collaboration of Politecnico di Milano.
Orange Fiber is now a reality: it's the world’s first and only brand to produce a new and sustainable product from citrus juice byproducts, transforming them into beautiful materials reducing waste as well as pollution. It's surely one of the most interesting approach to sustainable fashion in the world, an example of creativity for the safeguard of the planet to be proud of.
Orange Fiber for a better world
In Italy every year, more than 700.000 tons of citrus waste are produced and no one before had developed an alternative to disposal.
This enormous amount of waste caused many problems in the past leading to illegal disposal or to the closing of some factories due to the high costs of disposal practices. Orange Fiber is the answer to this problems as well as to the ever-increasing number of consumers demanding sustainable materials and to fashion brands seeking green innovation.
Orange Fiber solution, to extract a raw material from an industrial by-product, not rival to food, could be the answer to the increasing need of cellulose for textile. Their green production of cellulosic fabrics preserves natural resources, does not dispose an industrial waste and does not use natural resources.
Compared to existing man-made fibers from cellulose, either from wood or from hemp and bamboo, Orange Fiber does not require dedicated yields alternative to food consumption or dwilling on natural resources, but reuses a waste thus saving land, water, fertilizers and environmental pollution.
The fabric features
When used in its purest form, the resulting 100% citrus textile features a silk-like cellulose yarn hand-feel, lightweight.
It can be opaque or shiny according to production needs. It can be blend with other materials, like cotton and silk, and colored and printed as traditional fabrics (inkjet printing and natural colors included).
The Capsule Collection Ferragamo
The very first fashion collection made with the exclusive, high quality Orange Fiber fabric has been launched during the Earth Day 2017 on April 22nd by Salvatore Ferragamo. The Florentine Maison has been the first luxury fashion label to trust in this project, sharing the ethical values underneath it and seeing in it both a challenge and an opportunity.
From this collaboration originates a Capsule Collection for the SS/2017 made up of shirts, dresses, pants and foulards in a silk- like twill, characterized by essential lines and cut, granting naturalness and comfort.
The project is catching more and more the interest and the appreciation of Fashion System, as shown by the current negotiation with FTL Venture Inc, the global venture capital fund founded by Miroslava Duma.
The company has also recently been awarded 150.000 € as the winner of Global Change Award – H&M Foundation: Orange Fiber project has been selected as one of the five winners by the expert jury on over 2,700 projects coming from 112 different countries.
Among the other awards we can remember the "Technology & Innovation Award at Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia 2017".