Orange Fiber is the new Green


Reblog from Swide

A sustainable fabric, made in Italy and that is good for your skin? Two girls from Sicily have made a dream come true creating Orange Fiber, using the wastes coming from oranges.

From Catania, which has always been one of the most vibrant and hype cities in Sicily, to Milan, the undisputed capital of Italian fashion and to Rovereto, cultural and industrial centre in the heart of the Trentino region: the story of two Sicilian girls with a brilliant idea and their land in their hearts, progresses in these three cities, quite symbolic, although quite different.

Adriana Santanocito, 37 and Enrica Arena, 29,  three years ago were only two students studying away from home in Milan who, during a chat in the kitchen, literally invented Orange Fiber, their innovative sustainable fabric made with oranges, and now they are going to make their dream come true.
Adriana had the idea nearly three years ago – Enrica tells the newspaper La Repubblica – Her passion for textiles and attachment to Sicily, our home region, led her to wonder if she could produce a fabric with the waste coming from citrus. She asked me if I was interested in the project and we decided to try to do it together.

Adriana Santanocito

In Sicily, the citrus industry waste amounts to about 700 million tonnes and it occurred to Adriana, a fashion student at the Afol Institute of Milan, that it would be possible to reuse these wastes, improving them following the innovative and engaging trends of functional fabrics or cosmetic fabrics (those used for slimming girdles, for instance).

Thus Orange Fiber was created: cellulose, which is then spun, is extracted from all the fibres that are discarded from the pressing and processing of oranges. Thanks to nanotechnology and citrus fruit essential oil, it is encapsulated and fixed to the fabric: the material obtained is, therefore, also able to leave the skin soft, not greasy, in fact, just as if a body lotion has been used.

The clothes are not greasy and the skin is nourished – says Enrica – This feature is guaranteed for at least twenty washes, but we are also studying recharging methods with specific fabric softeners”.

Pastazzo d'agrumi

Their idea has won several awards resulting in Adriana and Enrica attracting the interest of private investors, and here we get to the Trentino region: Trentino Sviluppo (Trentino Development) decide to finance their project, welcoming them to the Ipoint incubator in Rovereto.

With this new funding, Adriana and Enrica were able to build the first prototype. The fabric was presented on 16 September at the Expo Gate in Milan, on the day of the Vogue Fashion Night Out. It was “created by combining the unique acetate yarn obtained from citrus with silk, in two variants: plain colour satin (natural colour silk) and lace (natural colour and black), together with three different colour yarns: yellow, lime green and orange”.

What are the girls’ ambitions? “We are aiming to haute couture – they tell the Corriere della Sera newspaper – we have already been contacted by several Italian companies and also by a large foreign group. They like the fact that Orange Fiber is made in Italy, but above all, sustainable.” We too! #WearOrange

by Alessia Gargiulo

alessia gargiulo

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