We know how good oranges are for your health. But, oranges as part of the next new fashion trend, Who Knew!
Can you wear citrus, be fashionable and respect the environment at the same time?
Now it’s possible thanks to two Sicilian girls keen on fashion and sustainable development: Adriana Santocito, 36-year-old fashion designer, and Enrica Arena, 28-year-old communication specialist.
Their adventure started in 2011, in a shared flat in Milan. Adriana and Enrica, non-resident students, dreamed of changing the world by using the resources and by-products that were going to waste in their homeland.
Sicily is one of the largest producers of lemons and oranges, but every year more than 700,000 tons of waste are created by the Italian citrus industry. So why not use that waste to make a new eco-friendly textile?
Adriana started experimenting in the lab of the Polytechnic Institute of Milan, extracted cellulose from the already squeezed fruit and turned it into textile fiber. Then she used nanotechnologies to capsulate citrus essential oils and fix them between the fibers. The result is a fabric releasing vitamin C on the skin. Adriana and Enrica, of course, called it Orange Fiber as their startup - and in 2013 they patented it.
In order to attract funds they entered startup competitions and won several awards. Supported by experts, they proved the project’s feasibility, developed a business model and found their first private investors - a group of Sicilian citrus entrepreneurs. Then an incubator (iPoin Trentino) decided to accept and support their project. So their idea has turned into an industrial reality. In September the new textile spun with silk was presented during Milan Fashion Week.
In addition to giving new life to citrus waste, orange textile reduces carbon emissions and environmental impact of the traditional textile manufacturing methods (taking a large amount of water, fertilizers and chemicals). Furthermore, it’s good for the body. The microcapsules can resist up to 20 washes but Orange Fiber founders have started working on a refill system.
Maybe they won’t change the world, but they’ve certainly found a response to an environmental issue and a way to improve the textile industry.
The first collection of Orange Fiber will be ready for market in February of 2015. The next step will be the internationalization of this environmental friendly project.
If you are looking for the perfect wholesome gift for a business associates, family or friends? A quick visit to http://sunburstoranges.com can solve all of your fresh gift giving adventures. We sell only the finest selections and the freshest citrus you can buy.
180 South “E” Street
Porterville, CA 93257