Fabrics from Fruit. Citrus Dress Anyone?

 

For this issue I decided to research fabrics made from fruit and vegetables. What I discovered is incredible and exciting and, well wonderful. I had heard that such a thing was happening, but as I fell deeper into this exploration I was left amazed as to the how people’s minds work and how together with that and science, incredible things are produced. Not only are people creating a wide range of products with fruit and vegetables, the practice is saving our planet from food waste and the heavy use of chemicals used in synthetic textiles. 

Some facts:

Around a billion tonnes of banana plant stems are  wasted each year
Over 14 million tonnes of citrus waste is produced  every year
Over 40,000 tonnes of pineapple waste is produced each year

Whilst the use of fruits for fabrics may seem foreign to many of us, the Philippines for instance, have been creating textile from pineapple waste for years. Called Piña it is a combination of pineapple and silk or polyester. Taking this further and moving completely away from synthetic materials, the company Ananas Anam has developed Piñatex a fabric made from the leaf fibres of the pineapple and has the feel and appearance of canvas - perfect for shoes, handbags, furniture and even jackets. Take a look at their products page and you will be amazed by what designers are coming up with. It doesn’t stop there. The bi-products from the process are used as fertilisers for farmers to prepare the soil for the next pineapple harvest. Growing, feeding, creating, recycling; what a fantastic and healthy cycle made by just one fruit. 

pineapple | banana | citrus | mushroom

Meanwhile, bananas are also getting in on the natural textile bandwagon. The pollution caused by the dumping of banana stalks is now being offset by fabric production...

Want to know more? Grab your issue of the Wonder issue here