Talk about versatility – the banana fibre – which has been making a major comeback in the fashion industry – can be used to in the production of ropes, mats, paper and to weave fabrics. In fact, according to FashionUnited, a company called Green Banana Paper based on the island of Kosrae in Micronesia is using this fibre in the production of vegan wallets, purses and beads.
“Our fibre comes from the backyards of subsistence farmers across all the villages of Kosrae,” Simpson told FashionUnited. “The tree stems would otherwise be wasted as banana trees fruit only one time per cycle and are removed to make room for new offshoots growing from the same root system. The fibres make for very strong paper, which is suitable to replace non-bio degradable or animal-based materials in certain industrial and fashion applications.”
While we are all into saving the climate and Instagramming about our #Organic ways of living, what we fail to realise is that the clothes we put on our backs are quite a heavy burden on the planet. Consider this: according to Eluxe Magazine, more than 20,000 litres of fresh water is utilised to produce one kilogram of cotton which can subsequently be used to make only a single T-shirt and pair of jeans. So the next time you comment ‘Work!’ or ‘Yaaass’ under a post about some ‘influencer’ wearing their cotton outfits, do take some time to note that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Now, bananas are delicious and can be used in so many ways. However, the banana peels often get wasted and dumped in the trash. What we are shocked to have found out is that 37 kilograms of these discarded peels can apparently produce a kilogram of fibre. Work!
“The banana fibre, whose texture and durability is akin to hemp and bamboo, makes a highly sumptuous, luxurious fabric. And of course, the fibre is biodegradable, vegan, cruelty-free, fair trade, and is nearly carbon neutral to produce,” writes Alexandria Beyer.
So, what we know so far is that the banana fibre is durable, biodegradable, vegan, cruelty-free and a more sustainable alternative to silk. Like the humble potato that gives us fries, vodka and adds joy to most foods in West Bengal, it would appear that we have severely underestimated the banana fibre.