Bananatex, a fabric completely realized with banana plants, contribute to sustainable development in environmental, economic and social terms. The sustainability of the plant used to produce the technical fabric has been considered in 2015 after three years of researchs. The family of origin, to which belong both bananas and plantains, is called Musa, while the plant is called Àbaca (Musa textilis).

One of the reasons for the choice of the Àbaca, which fiber is also called Manila Hemp, is that it doesn’t need any chemical fertilizers or irrigation Another important value of this amazing plant, cultivated in the Philippines, is its ability of reforestation. In fact, it gave life back to the areas of Philippines previously cultivated with palm oil trees, reconstructing the natural ecosystem and restoring working dignity to indigenous people.

The problem of palm oil plantations

It is worth opening a parenthesis to show, at least in broad terms, the problem of palm oil plantations. The companies of palms in the Philippines have entered and monopolized the territory, breaking every law of environmental protection. They devastated entire peat forests, dried out and burned them to make space to palm oil production to be exported to several countries in the world The low price of this fat, used in the food industry, home care and biofuel production, makes it very attractive to enterprises. These companies usually manage to enter in two ways: they corrupt local administrations or they threaten the farmers.

The effects of this operation are dramatic and causes the rising of the risk of extinction of some animal species, and ecosystem alteration. Not only, another consequence is the exploitation of local populations and the loss of many lives because of the firesset at the peatland.

The production of Bananatex

The Bananatex fabric starts from a collaboration between the swiss bags company QWSTION, a weaving partner and a yarn specialist from Taiwan. The production process begins from the stems that are deprived of the leaves (topping) and then rolled up and left to decompose themselves to create a natural fertilizer. After that we proceed to stripping, that is when the fibers are combed and then separated from each other . In the case of the All Black tint, once the raw fibers have been selected the obtained yarn is colored through the dyeing of the thread. While the fibers don’t receive any type of coloring when it comes to the Natural White tint.

Natural but not vegan

The only “weak” point, if it can be defined in these terms, of the Bananatex, is the fact that it’s natural, sustainable, but not vegan. To make the fabric waterproof, an animal origin component is used: beeswax. Beeswax is a natural wax produced in small pieces by worker bees aged between 12 and 17 days. The honey bees use this material to build the hexagonal cells in where they deposit larves, honey and pollen.