Turning orange peels into fabrics | Summit 2019

Turning orange peels into fabrics | Summit 2019


– (Vicky) I’m Vicky and I’m
joined by Enrica You might have noticed
actually her beautiful scarf I’m just gonna draw attention
to it, because I’ve heard that it is made from orange peel,
I’m gonna hold up this as well because it is pretty
spectacular as well. – (Enrica) OK Thank you [Laugshs] So I’m Enrica Arena, I’m from Italy, and I’m the co-founder
of orange fiber, we basically transform the byproducts of oranges
into sustainable materials for fashion. So we have patented a process to
transform whatever is left after your morning juice, into a fiber that can be
used for fashion. And it’s not rival to food because we take it after the juice
is squeezed, and we actually prevent byproducts to be disposed. – (Vicky) So we’ve heard a bit about
orange fiber but how exatly is it made? – (Enrica) We actually work with the
squeezer and we extract a cellulose from the peels of the oranges, so that
cellulose is then turned into a yarn wether a stable fiber or a continuous
filament, and then we weave it in Como in the silk district back in Italy, and then
we sell it to brands that then dye it or print it or then finishing it as they
want. So they can either print it as in this case, or the can work in a
jacquard as in this case for instance. – (Vicky) You know It’s spectatcular.
(laughs) So we’ve seen two items here that are looking very polished and very
clean, but did you have any disastrous prototypes or serious challenges along
your way to get in here? – (Enrica) Well we always had, when you
start from lab everything is under control, but when you start from like
that small grams to 1 kilo and then from 1 kilo to 1 ton anything can happen. So
when we started we just had a small sample made in the lab of the university
back in Milan, and all the way to make a big production of over 2 tones
everything happened, so we had the lab saying “Oh what are you like sending us
(laughs) this is just dry juice” it’s like “no no no” ok. We did it so
many times and finally we had something that was accepted by the fashion
industry, and now the big challenge is how we make it scalable, how we really create
an alternative that can be undertaken by a lot of brands, and not just a
few high-end luxury brands. – (Vicky) And you do have an example of
where you have worked with a really really big brand, how did you work with
them? and how did you scale the product? – (Enrica) Yeah, so the first client ever
was Salvatore Ferragamo, and they are an Italian brand and they decided to launch
a capsule collection with us back in 2017, and we produced for the more than ten
thousand meters of fabric, and after that we launched at this last April 2019,
this unique garment actually in a conscious exclusive from H&M. Yeah, and
this one has gone sold out within one hour it was put online and actually, H&M
decided to adopt this idea and actually piloting it in their supply chain after a
collaboration that dated back in 2015, and started with winning the global change
award from H&M foundation not the group, that it’s awarding innovation trying to
make fashion more circular. – (Vicky) And so how did you get into
this? what was your journey? – (Enrica) A totally different life, so I
was study I have a background in communication, and at the time when my
co-founder asked me to support her with this product I was basically working in
development corporation, so united development program somewhere in Egypt,
so it was totally different life, but I was always been fascinated by sustainability
that was more social this is more environmental, but at the end of the day
fashion it’s something that we use to express our selves and the values we
believe in, so for me it has become a way to make people more aware of our
environment, and how our choices are actually changing the world,
and can change the world. – (Vicky) And so what is next for orange
fiber? – (Enrica) Well we are right now doing an
equity crowdfunding campaign, I don’t now if you are familiar with that but it’s
like crowdfunding, but you buy stakes of the company basically on a platform,
and this is for increasing our production capacity back in Sicily, because we work
in Sicily at the time but we have also extended our patent in all the countries
where the orange juice is made, so next step is to scale up production, we have
a minimum step that is already achieved with fundraising that was for a 30-ton
production, and so next one will be 60-ton production who we are running after that
for two more weeks, and so scaling is the real next thing for us. – (Vicky) And finally where can we buy
products? or get our hands on products from orange fiber?
– (Enrica) Well I mean following our social media will keep you posted, we
we launched just yesterday a collaboration with a fashion house back in Italy that is
doing ties for men, actually they are hand printed in the U.K, so it’s an Italian
fabric but then hand-printed here so this will be the next product released, we
think within six to nine months available on the market.
– (Vicky) And we’ll keep our eyes up for more collaborations as well if it’s sold
out within an hour, I know I need to be quick of the mark. And Enrica might
not say but they’re actually looking for fundraising as well.
– (Enrica) Yeah, with this equity crowdfunding campaign, so if you are
curious you can just look for orange fiber brand and you’ll find all the information.
-(Vicky) Amazing. – (Enrica) Thank you. – (Vicky) So you heard it here first,
clothes made with the bits left over from your morning orange juice,
Thank you, Enrica [applause] and we’re
gonna have some

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