Orange Fiber: a fiber made from citrus waste
In the series of innovative companies using fruit waste to make eco-responsible and sustainable products, here is Orange Fiber. Born in Catania (Italy) in 2014, she creates cellulose fibers to transform them into high quality fabrics for fashion and luxury from citrus waste.
Le recyclage : une solution de transformation circulaire
Every year, in Italy, 700,000 tons of waste oranges are produced just to extract their juice. According to Enrica Arena, co-founder and CEO of Orange Fiber – specializing in communication and sustainable fashion – her company brings “ a circular solution, which consists of extracting a raw material from an industrial by-product, offering the possibility of satisfying the growing need for cellulose for textiles, while preserving natural resources ».
Indeed, every year, disposing of leftovers from the citrus processing industry represents a high cost for the citrus juice industry and for the environment.
Today, Orange Fiber is a recognized textile brand in the sustainable fabrics segment, thanks to the quality of its products and its commitment to environmental protection and transparency in the production chain.
« Our technology is based on the extraction of high-quality cellulose from leftovers from the citrus juice industry, which today represent 60 percent of the original weight of processed fruit that would otherwise have to be disposed of, whereas through to our process, we can use them to feed the cellulose fiber production lines. The supply chain is entirely European, with a production base in Catania, a strategic partner for fiber production in Austria – Lenzing, and a network of production companies in the main Italian districts“, explain the founders.
Fruitful collaborations for a promising future?
Thus, Orange Fiber inspires its customers with quality, innovative and eco-responsible products. Several brands have already chosen it for the creation of dedicated collections, such as Salvatore Ferragamo, H&M (Conscious Collection) and E. Marinella.
Orange Fiber also presented to the market the new collection of fabrics made with the TENCEL ™ Limited Edition x Orange Fiber, a new lyocell fiber made from orange pulp and wood from FSC forests (Forest Stewardship Council, for responsible and sustainable forest management).
TENCEL™ Limited Edition x Orange Fiber is the result of the partnership established in 2021 between Orange Fiber and the Lenzing Group, one of the world’s leading producers of specialized wood-based fibres.
Last March, Orange Fiber collaborated with the Spanish manufacturer of natural fabrics, Pyratex. The PYRATEX® citrea line is made from agricultural citrus waste. The orange trees are grown in Sicily (Italy), and the peels come from the waste that remains after the extraction of the juice. This family of high quality fabrics is knitted in Italy. The PYRATEX® citrea line consists of two fabrics, PYRATEX® citrea 1, a soft interlock made from 100 percent orange fibers and PYRATEX® citrea 2, a luxurious double-sided, perfect for garments such as dresses. (Find our Pyratex interview here.)
Photos: Orange Fiber