How a Swiss bag brand and its partners created a revolutionary fabric from banana plants that is good for the planet and its people.
Have you ever wondered what happens to the banana plants after they produce their fruits? Most of them are left to rot or burned, creating waste and pollution. But what if there was a way to turn these plants into something useful and valuable?
That’s the question that inspired QWSTION, a Swiss bag brand and material innovator, to develop Bananatex®, the world’s first durable, technical fabric made purely from the naturally grown Abacá banana plants.
In this article, we’ll explore how Bananatex® was created, what makes it so special, and how it can benefit the environment, the economy, and the society.
What is Bananatex®?
Bananatex® is a fabric made from the fibers of Abacá, a type of banana plant that grows in the Philippine highlands. Abacá is also known as Manila hemp, and it has been used for centuries to make ropes, paper, textiles, and other products.
Unlike the common bananas that we eat, Abacá plants do not produce edible fruits. Instead, they produce long and strong fibers that can be extracted from the stems and leaves. These fibers are then spun into yarns and woven into fabrics.
Bananatex® is incredibly strong and durable, while remaining soft, lightweight and supple. The natural white colorway reflects the actual color of the fibers and is not dyed. An all-natural wax coating can be applied to make Bananatex® waterproof. The resulting fabric has a smooth and distinctive handfeel.
Bananatex® is also Cradle to Cradle Certified® Gold, the most advanced standard globally for products that are safe, circular and responsibly made. This means that Bananatex® is made from renewable materials, uses clean energy and water, protects human health and biodiversity, and can be recycled or composted at the end of its life cycle.
Why is Bananatex® sustainable?
Bananatex® is sustainable because it is made from a plant that grows in harmony with nature and supports local communities.
Abacá is cultivated in the Philippine highlands within a natural ecosystem of sustainable mixed agriculture and forestry. The plant is self-sufficient, requiring no pesticides, fertilizer or extra water. These qualities have allowed it to contribute to reforestation in areas once eroded due to monocultural palm plantations, whilst enhancing biodiversity and the economic prosperity of its farmers.
Abacá also has a fast growth cycle of 18 to 24 months, making it a renewable resource that can be harvested multiple times. The entire plant can be used for various purposes, leaving no waste behind. For example, the fruits can be fed to animals, the stems can be used for fiber extraction, and the leaves can be used for mulching or composting.
Bananatex® is also sustainable because it is produced with minimal environmental impact and social responsibility. The fabric is made in Taiwan by a yarn specialist and a weaving partner who share QWSTION’s vision of creating a positive change in the textile industry. The production process uses renewable energy sources, water-saving techniques, non-toxic chemicals, and fair labor practices.
How can you use Bananatex®?
Bananatex® is a versatile fabric that can be used for various applications such as bags, accessories, clothing, furniture, or interior design. It can also be combined with other materials such as organic cotton or recycled polyester to create different textures and effects.
QWSTION has launched a collection of bags made from Bananatex®, featuring minimalist designs that showcase the beauty and functionality of the fabric. The bags are suitable for urban commuters who value quality, style, and sustainability. They are also modular and adaptable, allowing users to customize them according to their needs.
Other brands have also adopted Bananatex® for their products, such as Freitag (a Swiss company known for making bags from recycled truck tarps), Millican (a UK-based outdoor brand), or Nanga (a Japanese sleeping bag manufacturer).
Bananatex® is also an open source project that invites other designers and makers to join the movement and create their own products with the fabric. QWSTION provides technical support and guidance to anyone who wants to work with Bananatex®, as well as access to their network of suppliers and partners.
Are you ready to join the Bananatex® revolution?
Bananatex® is more than just a fabric. It is a story of innovation, collaboration, and inspiration. It is a proof that it is possible to create a material that answers questions of environmental, economic and social sustainability. It is a challenge to the status quo of the textile industry and a hope for a better future.
If you are interested in learning more about Bananatex®, you can visit their website https://www.bananatex.info/ where you can find more information, videos, and testimonials. You can also subscribe to their newsletter to stay up-to-date with their latest news, exhibitions and developments.
If you are interested in buying or making products with Bananatex®, you can contact them through their website or by email. They will be happy to assist you and provide you with the best quality and service.
Bananatex® is not just a fabric. It is a movement. And you can be part of it.
Are you ready to join the Bananatex® revolution?