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Orange Fiber

In the fashion world, cotton is a real staple that has dressed people for centuries. However, cotton is not an endless resource and alternatives are needed to attire a growing population. Could 700,000 tons of citrus peel be the solution? The Italian team Orange Fiber decided to give it a go.

Winner 2016

The innovation in a nutshell

Creating new textile out of by-products from citrus juice production.

More in detail

In Italy alone, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of citrus peel and by-products from juice production are thrown away every year, which has both financial and environmental costs. Adriana Santanocito dared to think outside the box and saw gold where others saw waste. She contacted a lab at the Polytechnico di Milano, where she demonstrated that her idea was feasible – extracting cellulose from citrus waste and then spin it into an innovative silk-like, biodegradable fibre.

In 2013 the idea was patented and in 2015 Adriana and co-founder Enrica Arena, applied and won the Global Change Award. “With the Global Change Award we saw an amazing opportunity to develop our project, increasing its potential and positive impact,” says Enrica.

“Thanks to the support received by the Global Change Award network, we significantly moved forward with our R&D, laying a solid foundation for the future of our company. We’ve gotten opportunities of visibility and networking within the fashion industry, which helped us develop our business model and product. The collaboration with the members of the H&M Foundation and with other winners is still strong, supporting us throughout any phase of our growth.”

Enrica Arena

Team members: Adriana Santanocito, Enrica Arena, Francesco Virlinzi, Antonio Perdichizzi, Corrado Blandini, Andrea Bonina, Giovanni De Caro, Moreno Petrulli
Country: Italy