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How Loewe and Salvatore Ferragamo are championing sustainability in fashion design

Two fashion brands go green in surprising ways.

Citrus fruit and oak trees sound like topics that would pop up at an agricultural convention, but these organic materials are central to endeavours recently undertaken by two top fashion brands. Aside from plant matter, a theme of sustainability links Salvatore Ferragamo’s Orange Fiber collection and the works by the winner of Loewe Craft Prize.

  • Ernst Gamperl, Tree of Life 2, Germany, Winner of Loewe Craft Prize
    EARTHY NOTE Two fashion brands, two different ways of spreading the message of sustainability.

    PHOTO OF Loewe Craft Prize winner, master woodturner Ernst Gamperl

The former is a capsule collection made from fabric created with citrus by-products that are left after the fruits are squeezed for juice. There’s certainly no lack of raw materials: More than 700,000 tonnes of citrus waste are generated in Italy each year. The name of an Italian start-up founded in 2014, Orange Fiber produces a textile that looks and feels like silk. The first company to use the material, Salvatore Ferragamo now presents a small range of printed clothing made from this eco-friendly fabric.

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While they can’t be worn, the creations of the first winner of the Loewe Craft Prize revolve around two key themes in high fashion right now: sustainability and craftsmanship. First announced last year, the prize honours modern craftsmanship. The winner, master woodturner Ernst Gamperl, impressed judges with his large wooden containers, hewn from a 300-year-old oak tree that had been uprooted during a storm. Jury member Patricia Urquiola – a renowned architect and industrial designer – noted of the winning works: “We wanted to honour craft that made us think about the times we are living in.”