Bamboo and banana bras? Time to look at eco-fibres from plants

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NOVEMBER, 2017

By Georgina Lockwood / Life Green Group

Looking for a natural fit from an all-natural knit? Pull off the nylon; stop the silkworms spinning and move over the mohair. It’s time to start making fabric fibres from plants. At Life & Earth we specialise in food waste recycling and are always on the lookout for carbon positive, sustainable ways to reuse organic matter. We found the answer: taking by-products of agricultural plants to make natural materials.

 

We’re not going to get all vegan about it, but this is nothing new to mankind, fabrics have been spun from natural fibres extracted from the leaves, seeds or stems of plants.

The fashion industry is some of the most wasteful with trends changing with next issue of Vogue. Monoculture… it’s monotonous. The cotton industry using up to 20,000 litres of water to produce one kilogram of cotton, that’s one pair of blue jeans.

It’s time to start thinking sustainable and taking note of conscientious consumerism.

Eco-fibres Banana

Bananas about natural fibres?

It’s a concept Leo DiCaprio and Elon Musk would be bananas about. Approximately one billion tons of banana plant stems are squandered each year. Fruitless? We, at Life Green Group, think so.

The banana plant in the tropics (its natural environment) does not require any additional pesticides or fertilisers, making banana yarn an eco-friendly source of clothing, paper and potassium. Too long have banana leaves been the inspiration behind the fabric print, it’s now the actual fabric.

 

Eco-fibres pineapple

Leather from pineapples – a mouth-watering concept.

Aloha?! It’s swanky to say your leather shoes are made from pineapples. The fibres from the leaves of the pineapples are strong enough to be made into durable natural leather.

The eco-logic and perfection behind pineapple leather is the fibres are a by-product of pineapple farming. This means farmers are able to upscale their produce, creates more jobs, and zero organic waste to landfills. Pineapple fibres are so versatile they can be added to the other material to improve quality and application.

Another fruit you can pluck from the fruit bowl for clothing is the coconut and its husk.

 

Eco-fibres coconut

Of coconuts, volcanos and sports gear.

Got 99 problems and the coconut solved about 97 of them. That list now includes textiles.

The coconut has naturalised on almost every tropical island in the world and is an important source of milk, water, oil, and ‘meat’ and now fibre.

Cocona is a natural textile made from coconut shells and volcanic materials. The technology is being utilised by North Face and other major active brands.  The genius behind coconut cottons is a farmer can harvest every 30- 45 days, with a 1,000 coconuts producing 10kg of fibre.

 

Eco-fibres hemp

Get on the Hemp highway

Not just proverbially… This versatile herb is rumoured to have over 25,000 uses to mankind, including hempcrete, beauty products, biofuels, oil, plastic composites and clothing.

Hemp monoculture ? We’re not smoking. The cannabis plant is one of the oldest domesticated plants and has been selected for different traits, one of them being THC that comes from the marijuana subspecies. Hemp, on the other hand, has no medicinal, religious or recreation value and can be used to make all sorts of useful material including clothing.

 

Eco-fibres Bamboo

Bras made from Bamboo.

Wool in all its thermos-regulating brilliance is ovine and overdone, time to step away from the herd. Bamboo fibres, like wool,  will keep you sweat-free in summer and toasty in winter.

It’s not just pandas who are obsessed. There has been a movement to produce female under garments from breathable bamboo material. Bamboo fabrics are lighter, softer and more eco-friendly than cotton. An added bonus is bamboo textiles are they are naturally; anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, hypoallergenic, and static and wrinkle free!

 

Eco-fibres nettle

Got an itch to splurge on that nettle dress

This natural knit that won’t itch! Before cotton, nettle was the preferred material for clothing because it was parasite resistant and glossy therefore it was regarded as more formal by the upper classes. Get suited and booted in clothing that won’t sting your carbon footprint.

 

 

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