Bananatex produces compostable jersey made from Abacá banana plants

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Textile company Bananatex has developed a biodegradable lightweight jersey fabric by extracting fibres from the stalks of Abacá banana plants.

The jersey material, which was shortlisted in the material innovation category of Dezeen Awards 2023, is the latest version of a fabric made from the banana plant that Bananatex first launched in 2018.

Bananatex has produced a lightweight fabric from banana plants

Bananatex developed the fabric by extracting fibres from the Abacá plant stalk, which are then cooked into a pulp.

This is made into yarn through a paper-making process based in Taiwan, which is then knitted, assembled and manufactured into the final product.

The jersey aims to offer a sustainable alternative to current materials

At the end of its life cycle, the fabric, which is Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold, can be composted and biodegrades within 10 weeks in industrial composts and 16 weeks in marine water.

Bananatex is also currently in the process of closing the product’s technical cycle by returning used Bananatex fabric to the pulping process.


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It could then be used to produce new paper and yarn, thus allowing for a circular production process.

Bananatex aims to draw focus on the use of raw materials, natural resources and garment life cycle to address the topic of sustainability in textile production.

The Bananatex jersey is resistant to abrasion

According to the brand, Bananatex fabric has a tearing and abrasion strength that is “amongst the highest in nature” and could give it the potential to replace cotton and synthetic fabrics.

The latest fabric has a softer hand feel in comparison to previous versions and is more versatile, increasing its application possibilities within apparel, according to the brand.

“The main challenge in developing the jersey was to get a jersey with washing stability and elasticity values comparable to existing materials on the market,” Bananatex said.

The brand uses Abacá fibres for paper-making

The Abacá plant from which the fabric is made is native to the Philippines and “requires no pesticides, fertilizer or extra water,” according to Bananatex.

“The Abacá plants are cultivated in the Philippines in a natural ecosystem, supporting reforestation and enhancing biodiversity, whilst improving the livelihoods of local farmers and communities,” the brand told Dezeen.

“These communities generate a stable source of income by harvesting the fibres on a regular basis”.

Similar projects include sugarcrete by University of East London (UEL), the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) and Grimshaw and a faux leather jacket made using bacteria.

The photography is by Bananatex, Qwstion and Lauschsicht.

The post Bananatex produces compostable jersey made from Abacá banana plants appeared first on Dezeen.

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