The Elephant in The Room

... Let’s Talk About It

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Castello Sforzesco, Milan Design Week 2023

If good design is problem-solving, great design can solve a problem for a lifetime. Great design often means less but better–allowing for a sustainable solution to problems of all sizes. And sometimes, the very best design is no design at all, as we often need to be reminded that our needs are mere wants.

Throughout design (and problem-solving in general), textiles have always been a universal tool. Whether it’s a modern sofa, the cover of your car’s dashboard, the back pocket of your trousers, or the rug on which you just wiped your feet–textiles are as ubiquitous as they come. And their influence goes beyond imagination. 

But while textiles are seen and felt everywhere, their heritage has always remained a mystery. Manufacturer labels are meant to be hidden in the back of your neck or the seam of your bag. You can read about the origins of the material you’re sitting on by getting on your knees and bending your neck in such a way that it allows you to read the last letters of the name of a place that’s very far away from where you’re reading it. It’s all part of the way the textile industry is set up. It’s meant to be a secret. Unreachable. 

And yet, it is hiding in plain sight, just like the elephant in the room. Everything you see and touch is made with machines, needles, yarns, threads, fibres and raw materials mixed with energy to create something that solves your problem. Be it short or long-term, big or small. Textiles are always there to be counted on, as they have been for centuries.

This presentation allows you to look beyond the surface. Proudly making those hidden labels into something visible by dissecting the textiles and showing ethical, responsible and sustainable ways of problem-solving. Together with Castello Sforzesco, City of Milan and a collective of industry change makers, including The Woolmark Company, Groz-Beckert, Mayer & Cie, Santoni, Südwolle Group, Lensvelt, Arco, Montis, FRAME, La Bolleur, THE NEW STIJL, and ..,staat, BYBORRE invites you to explore the works of heroes shaping the future of the supply chain and listen to the stories of the trailblazers behind the change.

Borre Akkersdijk, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, "First and foremost I want to thank Fabio Novembre, Castello Sforzesco and the City of Milan for giving us this opportunity. I am thrilled that we are able to show the importance of a transparant textile supply chain in an accessible way, through education and inspiration, and connect with the creators of the future at such a historical location."

The Elephant in The Room

Monday, April 17 – Sunday, April 23

Daily open from 10:00 to 17:30

Sala Della Balla at Castello Sforzesco Piazza Castello,

20121 Milan MI, Italy

For press assets and other information, please contact

Photography by Andrea Martiradonna

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BYBORRE combines technology and textile expertise to bring a new standard to the industry by unlocking material innovation, sharing its vast experience on circular knitting and making their transparent supply-chain available to all clients. They believe that, without the much-needed transparency, positive change is impossible.

Borre Akkersdijk and Arnoud Haverlag founded BYBORRE in 2015 to realize their ultimate mission to inspire and enable an entire generation of creators to make better and more responsible textiles for everyday products. Together with their international team of 50+ specialists, they took on the responsibility to push the boundaries of the conventional textile industry, make responsible textiles more accessible through material innovation, digital design services, and on-demand production.

The company previously raised €3.2 million in a 2020 series A investment round, funding the accelerated development of on-demand design tool Create™. Create™ has welcomed over 1000+ users and 300+ brands worldwide (2022) including Natuzzi, Herman Miller, Palace Skateboards and Porter Yoshida & Co.

To further expand its platform, BYBORRE introduced Textiles™ in 2022. Textiles is a growing library of ready-to-order textiles created from traceable materials and suitable for a wide range of end-use cases, as opposed to the industry wastefully made to stock production status quo. The quality is primarily driven by choosing materials that support longevity, made with BYBORRE’s signature circular knitting techniques and curated stock of certified yarns.

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