A Zero Waste textile!
When you consider that the USA is one of the world's largest citrus fruit producers, producing up to 16 million metric tons a year, 90% of which is processed into juice, it's easy to see that orange peel is an abundant raw resource.
Noting that citrus waste was estimated at 700,000 tons per year in Italy, and taking into account that its disposal has high ecological and economic costs, solutions were sought. In 2013, in collaboration with a Milanese university, the Italian company Orange Fiber succeeded in bringing together two important pillars in Italy: it uses citrus waste to make a most eco-friendly fabric! Isn't this a great way of uniting the food and clothing industries?
The fabric that emerges from this transformation is formed of a silk-like fiber that can be blended with other textiles. When used in its purest form, the resulting 100% citric textile is soft, silky, light and ultra-resistant. It can also be opaque or glossy, as required.And what about accessibility?
We're not there yet! As with all innovations, the early stages entail development costs, scarcity and, by the same token, an exorbitant price tag. So far, only one American designer is using this textile. Since 2017, Salvator Ferragomo has been designing scarves and a cardigan with this fabric. Prices: between US$150 and US$1,000... We can't say it's accessible to the average person!What more can you do with orange peel?
Well, chemical textile dyes are proving extremely harmful to the environment and our health. Caroline Fourré is working with the Zurich University of Applied Sciences to use fruit and vegetable residues, including orange peel, to develop textile dyes and promote them on an industrial scale.
Whatever the case, and despite the price of confections with this fabric, the fact remains that this kind of initiative is refreshing. The reuse of raw materials is certainly an important element in a sustainable future. This fabric does not use arable land like linen, hemp and cotton textiles. This is an important point to consider, particularly in view of the world's growing population!