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® is a pioneering textile company founded in 2015, and dedicated to transforming the textile industry through responsible creation and transparent sourcing. Merging physical and digital worlds, BYBORRE® pioneers material innovation, transparency and textile customization to make responsible textiles accessible, worldwide.

By questioning industry norms, BYBORRE® invites others to think differently and become part of something bigger—a movement that redefines the future and possibilities of textiles.

(Dutch version)

BYBORRE® is een impact gedreven textielbedrijf opgericht in 2015 en toegewijd aan het transformeren van de textielindustrie door middel van verantwoorde creatie en transparante sourcing. Door fysieke en digitale werelden te combineren en integreren, loopt BYBORRE® voorop op het gebied van materiaalinnovatie, transparantie en textiel customization om verantwoorde textiel wereldwijd toegankelijk te maken.

Door de normen in de industrie uit te dagen, nodigt BYBORRE® anderen uit om anders te denken en deel te worden van iets groters—een beweging die de toekomst en mogelijkheden van textiel opnieuw definieert.

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