Stella McCartney adds more new materials, makes first bag from banana plants
As interest in leather alternatives and other eco-friendly materials for accessories grows, Stella McCartney has launched its first-ever bag made from banana plants as part of its autumn 2023 collection.
The vegan logo tote is embroidered with the brand’s Fungi Forest toile de jouy print in burgundy on the eco material base.
The basic material is Bananatex, a durable and waterproof fabric that’s “entirely natural, circular and plastic-free”.
Bananatex Co-Founder and CEO Hannes Schoenegger said that the label launching the bag is “an important milestone” in the company’s and the material’s history.
McCartney has chosen to introduce a new and revolutionary material to its line-up by using a familiar pattern in the design.
The hand-drawn Fungi Forest toile de jouy was first introduced as part of the summer 2022 collection. It’s now been woven onto the logo tote’s Bananatex base using post-consumer recycled polyester thread.
Banantex is made from naturally grown Abacá banana plants cultivated in the Philippines that are self-sufficient, requiring no pesticides or fertilisers. The species is “abundant in the local ecosystem”, with each plant offering several stalks that can be harvested annually before regenerating fully within a year. We’re told that during that time, “it serves as a source of nutrition for the surrounding biodiversity”.
Once harvested, the plant’s leaves naturally decompose to create an all-natural fertiliser and the plant can “positively contribute to reforestation in areas of the Philippines that were once monocultural palm”.
The source plant is ideal for accessories as the Abacá stalks’ tensile strength and durability enable them to produce “a luxurious, high-quality, cotton-like canvas”.
The company also said the fabric can be processed back into pulp and then into paper, which can become yarn once again.
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