The banana is a healthy snack, filled with dietary fiber, low in cholesterol, and a good source of vitamin D, potassium and vitamin B6. But there is much more to this beautiful yellow arch than just that.
Considered a waste product of harvesting, the stem of the banana plant is filled with fiber and is used for various textile products. From bags, rugs, and coasters to table mats and tablecloths, the banana fiber does it all. In Japan, banana fiber has been used for making kimonos since the 13th century. This lightweight fabric is known for its durability. Most importantly, it is 100% biodegradable without a trace of chemicals.
So it comes at no surprise that visionary manufacturers are trying to find a way to refine the fiber. Because banana fiber has a very small price tag attached to it, making it suitable for clothing can be especially attractive.
Aussie Bum, an Australian manufacturer and distributor of men’s underwear, seemingly solved this difficult task. As a pioneer in the development of eco-friendly fabrics, this company created a sexy brief made of a mixture of banana fiber and organic cotton. The good news is: They ship worldwide for free. The bad news: The hunky gentleman wearing these briefs is not included.
From bamboo to hemp to organic cotton, plenty of manufacturers have sprouted their own line of eco-friendly underwear. In a previous article on this site, we discussed some of the companies that produce “green” underpants. But while cotton and hemp are a great resource, banana fiber is something new.
The extraction of the fiber is still a tedious and time-consuming job. Textile scientists are working hard on developing machines that simplify the process. In India, the world’s largest banana producer after Brazil, banana fiber separating machines were developed and are a great help for rural and small entrepreneurs to make use of the plant “waste” and generate income. So this added use of the banana plant increases the local economy in an unexpected way. It creates jobs, mainly for women who would be unemployed otherwise. According to the George Foundation, the majority of field workers are women and children who are mistreated, uneducated and underpaid.
So the next time you need to update your underwear drawer, consider the banana, silently bite into it and wait for the first bikini made of this unexpected gem of nature.
Images courtesy of AussieBum.com.