Have you ever wondered how many bananas are eaten everyday? Well, you may have not, but there are definitely a few people that have and they realized how much useful material is being discarded. Every year we consume around 100 billion bananas worldwide, which means that around 270 million tons of peels are going to waste. Fortunately, these companies and startups came up with a solution to transform this delicious fruit into an innovative cruelty-free fabric.
Green Banana Paper was founded by Matt Simpson in Kosrae, Micronesia. Before the startup began, local farmers used to leave the banana fibers on the ground to biodegrade. But he saw an opportunity to upcycle these massive leftovers and transformed them into a strong, stylish vegan leather that is now used to handcraft wallets inspired in island-life.
Circular Systems, on the other hand, is considered a “clean-tech” company working with natural resources for quite a while now. They are known for creating eco-friendly fabrics made of pineapple leaves, sugarcane bark, flax and hemp stalk. In the last couple of years, they have also added banana peels to their sustainable collection.
Swiss student Sarah Harbarth also shared the intention of closing the loop of the banana fruit and that’s why she came up with KUORI. By using banana peels as well she created this organic, greener alternative to leather which can be used for multi purposes in the fashion industry. Harbarth was part of 2020’s Green Concept Award where she showcased four types of fabric samples that differ in strength, flexibility and handling.
Six decades ago, clothes were still made of almost 100% natural fibers, but nowadays, that number has been reduced to barely 30%. It’s time to go back to our roots. Banana fiber is now one the strongest, long-lasting fibers in the world, in addition to being natural and so biodegradable.