Following the likes of pineapple leather, this Italian company is weaving yarn from oranges. It’s making waves as the fashion industry’s latest sustainable textile.
BBC reports that Orange Fiber, based in Italy, takes orange rinds from a local juicing plant, free of charge, and extracts the cellulose to make a yarn-like fiber which is woven into textile. The cloth is then dyed and blended with other materials (like polyester and cotton), repurposing food waste that was destined for the dump or for cattle feed. According to Orange Fiber’s site, the cellulose yarn on its own is lightweight and feels like silk.
Orange Fiber has even caught the attention of high-end Italian fashion designer, Salvatore Ferragamo, who used the material in his latest summer collection. The labels on the Ferragamo scarves, dresses and sweaters even give Orange Fiber a shoutout.
Because the crop doesn’t grow year-round, the company operates seasonally with the juicing company when citrus is in season.