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Abacá plant said to produce the strongest natural fiber

EcoNote | March 25, 2024 | By:

Environmental organization Parley (or Parley for the Oceans) says that it’s calling for a “material revolution,” to “change the way we make things in order to create the future,” and to that end, it is talking about the innovators and scientists who are trying to remodel the material world. It reports that Bananatex®, a company based in Switzerland, is the producer of “the world’s first durable, technical fabric made purely from the naturally grown Abacá banana plants.” At this year’s Biofabricate in Paris, Parley displayed a one-off Dior jacket made from the material. 

Also referred to as musa textilis, the plant is native to the Philippines and considered to be the strongest natural fiber on the planet. Over centuries it’s been used for shipping ropes due to its robustness and resistance to salt water, but co-founder and CEO Hannes Schoenegger and his team at Bananatex say that they are the first people to make yarn using it.

The Abacá plant grows in the wild without any need for additional fertilizers or chemicals, and its cultivation can have tremendous benefits for biodiversity. Since its launch in 2018, Bananatex has collaborated with fashion designers and brands and garnered multiple design and sustainability awards. 

Bananatex was developed by Swiss bag brand and material innovators QWSTION in collaboration with a yarn specialist and a weaving partner, which are based in Taiwan. 

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