Danish fashion brand Ganni has teamed up with Spanish materials research company Pyratex to create a collection of gray clothing made from a banana waste biomaterial.
The three-piece capsule collection, designed to be a more durable alternative to traditional polyester tracksuits, includes joggers, a square-neck cropped top with a zip back and a cropped hoodie.
Each item was made with Element 2, a fiber created by Pyratex which combines waste from the banana food industry – including leaves, trunks and branches – with organic cotton.
The material is part of Ganni‘s Fabrics of the Future, an initiative that develops innovative materials for its clothing collections.
“Our goal is to diversify the natural fibers that we carry to avoid synthetic fibers and the overuse of cotton or linen,” said Pyratex founder and chief executive Regina Polanco.
“We want to enable the innovative fibers we work with to become as common in our wardrobes as cotton, linen or even synthetic fabrics,” Polanco told Dezeen.
To create Element 2, Pyratex first sourced the waste bananas from banana farms located in the southern states of India, specifically Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
“In the case of Pyratex Element 2, our banana agricultural waste fiber is obtained from the waste leaves, trunks and branches resulting from banana fruit farming,” Polanco explained.
It defines agro-waste as “waste resulting from agricultural operations”.
The tough, rough banana fiber is then dyed with reactive dyes before being water vapor softened, which Polanco says has a lower environmental impact than traditional chemical textile softening.
The company then knits this fabric with 65% organic cotton in its partner factory in Portugal. The resulting textile is designed to feel like soft cotton.
According to Polanco, waste is traditionally burned during the banana harvest, which releases large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.
“The Indian state of Tamil Nadu is the country’s largest banana producer, growing around nine million metric tons (MT) annually,” Polanco said.
“There is a long tradition in India of burning agricultural waste: when harvesting the banana tree, the leaves and trunks are burned,” she continued.
“This produces high levels of CO2 released into the atmosphere; however, by using this waste as a fibre, Pyratex avoids CO2 emissions and any negative impact on the environment.”
Polanco hopes the collection will encourage consumers to switch from buying synthetics to clothing made from biomaterials, which could significantly reduce fashion’s negative environmental impact on the planet.
“The concept behind the collection gives visibility to innovative products and makes them available to consumers,” Polanco said.
“Making clothes with responsible fabrics like ours is a big step towards better fashion consumption, and Ganni has shown they are not afraid to innovate for a better planet,” she added.
Other designers have also turned to plant-based materials to create more sustainable fashion products. New York designer Charlotte McCurdy has used seaweed to make a water-resistant jacket that captures CO2 from the atmosphere.
Meanwhile, luxury French fashion house Hermès has collaborated with biomaterials company MycoWorks to reinvent its Victoria shopper bag using a leather alternative made from mycelium.
Images courtesy of Ganni.