Orange Fiber: empowering Sicily through citrus salvage

A young and brave Italian start-up faces citrus wastage by applying a cross-field approach that connects food and fashion industries. The growing impact of the idea quickly spread all over Italy and recently reached even the Swedish Crown.

Food can have a second life, even outside the plate.
A growing number of companies and start-ups is tackling the issue of food waste by proposing innovative solutions that don’t necessarily pass through the kitchen, and stand on the synergy of a deep knowledge of materials, techniques and the territory of origin.

In this scenario, the girls from Orange Fiber represent a virtuous example of creativity and entrepreneurship. Their aim is to connect the Italian citrus industry with fashion by converting citrus waste (which is esteemed to reach 700.000 tons) into a sustainable and vitamin-enriched textile. From the very beginning, the idea caught the attention of both public and institutions, among which the Polytechnic University of Milan and two business angels that turned the dream of Adriana and Erica into a competitive start-up.

Just beside environmental sustainability, the core mission of Orange Fiber is focused on local empowerment. Sicily is not only the place of origin of the two co-founders, but also the location candidate to establish the production of their sustainable textile. Aware of the citrus industry crisis and the low rate of employment within the region, Orange Fiber wants to address all its efforts in the territory so to have a positive impact on the economy and the local community.

Orange Fiber recently won the Global Change Award, the innovation challenge launched by the H&M Conscious Foundation. With a prize of 150.000 euros and one year of innovation hub supported by the Foundation itself, in collaboration with Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, the project will be developed and empowered so to expand its network and grow up in scale.

By awarding Adriana and Erica, fashion professionals stated their belief into the benefits that Orange Fiber will lead to the industry. Its potential will definitely go further and mark a positive impact on food chain and environment too, and hopefully will empower that sunny, citrus scented land where everything started.

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