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Ties from oranges: E. Marinella’s innovation in the name of ecology

From silk to a new fabric made from orange waste, maintaining the same quality and craftsmanship approach that has made the brand world famous. This is how E. Marinella combines innovation and tradition.

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Who knows what Totò, a long-standing customer of E. Marinella‘s who used to hold knot-tying lessons for bow ties in the waterfront shop, would say if he knew about ties made from a new fabric produced from orange waste?

Eugenio Marinella from Naples to England and back

Yet, this is exactly what is happening to the historic Made In Italy brand, founded in Naples in 1914 by Eugenio Marinella. Marinella started making top-quality shirts and ties using silks hand-printed in England. It is no coincidence that Matilde Serao wrote that the boutique was ‘a little corner of England in Naples’. Following this idea, the founder travelled across the Channel to import iconic brands for the time such as Aquascutum for Mackintoshes, Floris and Penhaligon’s for perfumes, Brics for umbrellas, J&W Dawson for shoes, and Lock for hats. The tailor initially catered to horsemen and amazons among the local aristocrats, who were also attracted by the proximity of the equestrian route.

Prestigious clientele and international recognition

Soon, the biggest personalities, including politicians and jet setters, became Marinella’s regular clientele: Marcello Mastroianni, Gianni Agnelli, Aristotle Onassis, and Silvio Berlusconi, to name but a few.

In 2017, at the MoMA in New York, four ties created by Marinella were included in the exhibition ‘Items: Is Fashion Modern?’ dedicated to the most representative products of the fashion world. In 2022, the Neapolitan brand was also the protagonist of a docufilm, ‘Una finestra che guarda il mare’, shot by actor Massimiliano Gallo and broadcast on Sky Arte.

Orange fibre: innovation comes from citrus fruits

But back to oranges. The idea of the Orange Fiber fabric dates back to 2013 and comes from a startup created by Enrica Arena and Adriana Santonocito within a Startup Accelerator set up by TIM. The idea was to reconcile two industries of excellence for Made in Italy – agribusiness and fashion – in a virtuous circular economy context. However, it took eight years for Orange fiber to go from being a laboratory product to industrial production. The agreement with Marinella was signed in 2021. After a fund-raising activity started in 2019, in which General Manager Alessandro Marinella also invested, an initial collection of ties in this innovative fabric was launched, which sold out within twenty-four hours. The leaders of the G20 meeting in Rome in October also received a complimentary tie made of orange fabric, and the brand decided to continue investing in this innovative fibre.

On a side note, it must be said that in Italy, the citrus fruit processing industry produces around 110-120 million tonnes of waste every year (between 40 and 60 per cent of citrus fruit is discarded), with the associated management and disposal costs. Through an innovative extraction process, high quality cellulose suitable for processing into yarn and ultimately into fabric is obtained from the citrus fruit waste. ‘Looking to the future without forgetting our roots,said Maurizio Marinella, ‘is fundamental for us. For over 100 years, the Marinella company has dedicated itself to sartorial production, celebrating traditional Italian craftsmanship. Each of our products is the fruit of a passion handed down over time, which blends with an eye to the future, and this collaboration with Orange Fiber is an example of this…’

Congratulations to those who, while respecting tradition, innovate and bring Italy to the world!

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