Taiwanese firm showcased sustainable banana-fiber jersey
Taiwan’s Bananatex has pioneered the textile industry with its banana-based textiles. Recently the company has introduced a compostable jersey fabric crafted from the stalks of Abacá banana plants. The innovative material has caught the attention of the Dezeen design publication, which has shortlisted the fabric for its prestigious material innovation award.
According to insights from Bananatex, this particular fabric possesses some of the highest tearing and abrasion resistance levels observed in natural materials. This positions it as a viable contender to replace cotton and synthetic textiles prevalent in the market. “Our primary hurdle was to develop a jersey that maintained washing stability and elasticity metrics on par with current market offerings,” elucidated the representatives from Bananatex.
The production process is noteworthy: Abacá plant stalk fibers are transformed into pulp, which is then converted into yarn within Taiwan. In terms of biodegradability, the fabric requires approximately 10 weeks for decomposition in industrial composters and about four months in marine environments. Concurrently, Bananatex is researching methodologies to recycle this material, emphasizing the importance of circular economy principles in their approach.
The sourcing process for the fibers embodies sustainability. Bananatex highlighted that the Abacá plants thrive in the Philippines, where they are grown within their inherent ecosystems. This method of cultivation not only bolsters reforestation and biodiversity but also fortifies the economic standing of local communities and farmers. As a testament to its eco-friendly approach, the fiber harvesting process necessitates no supplementary water, pesticides, or fertilizers.