Anne
Reboux

Project: Iroony

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Anne graduated in 2011 with a Masters degree in information systems for capital markets from Telecom Ecole de Management and the Sydney University of Technology. Three years solo-travelling after a consultancy role at EY highlighted to her the important of social and environmental issues. In parallel with later roles in large companies, Anne launched an eco-friendly clothing brand, Gorfoo, alongside her brother. This led to her current project, Iroony, on which she now works full time.

The project involves developing innovative textile materials from hemp with two main goals: encouraging hemp culture; and bringing sustainable and local solutions to the textile industry, one of the most polluting sectors that emits large volumes of GHGs. Hemp stores the most CO2 of any plant as it grows, making it valuable in the fight against climate change. It is very resilient; grows quickly almost anywhere, does not require much water or many chemicals ; cleans soil ; is great in rotation culture; and provides food resources. Iroony works directly with hemp farmers in France, the largest producer of hemp in Europe and promotes urban culture of hemp in cities such as Paris. Iroony produce radically different textile materials to those usually made with hemp. The focus is on versatility and performance, to present a viable alternative to cotton and synthetics that dominate the industry but whose production negatively impacts the climate, oceans and biodiversity.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

"I have chosen to bring my daily energy to this project, because I could not read awful news about climate change and just panic, or continue working for companies doing ‘business as usual’ as if nothing was really happening. Climate is warming for real, and fast, so I believe we have to act now, and faster. I could not continue to work in a position that does not put protection of the environment as a top priority. Thus I am fully committed to try to develop efficient, impactful solutions for a better - or less bad - future.

The idea emerged as we were sourcing material for our clothing brand, Gorfoo. We were looking for alternative materials, with ecological assets, and that is how we discovered hemp. We decided to use it for some of our products, but also noticed that hemp use in textiles is currently rather limited. This is due to historical reasons combined with technical limits (specific tools required, thick yarn, etc.). So we took the challenge to do hemp textile in a new way, so that its field of application can widen, and therefore play a major role in the ecological transition."