Influential Businesswoman Awards 2023

66 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2023 by somebody that was so strong in such a male dominant culture and I decided that I could be fearless as well.” Inspired by the strong women around her, Sara decided to set up Flocus™ and be her own boss. Talking of her proudest accomplishments, Sara explains, “I think every big achievement is related to each phases of someone’s life, so rather than concentrate on the biggest I would concentrate on the lessons learned from each defining moment. I left home when I was a young girl, lived in different countries alone counting pretty much on my own strength and independence. I always chose jobs that fulfilled me and now I have created a job for myself where I can contribute to making an amazing natural fiber available for everybody to enjoy, take care of the social and ethical aspect of the supply chain that for centuries was overlooked, give jobs and plant thousands of trees.” Helping people and the planet, Sara is building a sustainable empire. For the future, Sara shares, “I would like to be able to expand Flocus™. We are reintroducing kapok in many countries where women are considered lower class to give them opportunities within my organization. I would like to be able to say, very soon, that wherever Flocus will operate nobody will be left behind.” With the Flocus™ design, we can change the way our industries operate. We can create sustainable products, reduce our CO2 emissions, save energy and water, and much more. Although this wouldn’t be possible without Sara and her husband Jeroen’s combined experience and drive for creating their products, Sara has won her place in the Influential Businesswoman Awards 2023 for her dedication to elevating the world of textiles whilst also empowering the women around her. Contact Details Contact: Sara Cicognani Company: Flocus BV Web Address: Sustainability Innovator of the Year 2023 (Italy): Sara Cicognani ustainability is an increasingly important subject, and there is a growing need for sustainable products sweeping across a huge range of industries. By carrying out extensive research and making use of the regenerative kapok trees, Flocus has paved the way for more sustainable textiles. Flocus’ Founder and CCO, Sara Cicognani, tells us, “The company is creating high value products from kapok fibers utilizing our patent on spinning preparation and our know how applied to a consistent R&D phase.” Flocus™ fiber comes from the kapok tree pods which grow every year, and it works as a great natural alternative to synthetic materials. Sara explains, “Kapok is an amazing fiber with a very rich history. In ancient times it was applied as a loose filler for pillows and mattresses because of its natural dry, ant-moth, anti-mite, and insulating properties. But with the introduction of synthetic fibres in the early 1940s it was slowly forgotten, and its popularity drastically decreased.” Born from a need for additional sustainable products, Flocus serves clients in the apparel and home goods industries, however, it hasn’t limited itself to this alone. Sara says, “We are engaging in R&D in automotive, hygiene, and a few others. So hopefully soon Flocus™ kapok can be a commodity that everybody can enjoy – and contribute to planting more trees.” Speaking of her personal and professional past, Sara shares, “I left Italy in my late teens to break away from a very male dominant culture looking for a way to shine. I moved to the US where I went to UCLA and found my dream job right after graduation. The company I worked for was Italian, but the owner of the company was a woman, and she was a successful and strong character. I was inspired S As the trademark for kapok fibers, Flocus™ is a natural, organic, and adaptable fiber for all kinds of textiles. Flocus can be used for a range of products which not only have a positive impact on each consumer, but the rest of the world. Here we talk to Flocus™’s Founder and CCO, Sara Cicognani, as she secures a title in the Influential Businesswoman Awards 2023. “Non-profit KRAF, founded by myself and in partnership with Flocus™, has planted 120,000 trees with the help of our clients’ donations. These valuable people mean a lot to us.”