Bananas, pineapples, coconuts and oranges... you might be thinking summer and smoothies, but did you know they make great textiles too? Innovation is kicking in as people look for sustainable alternatives to traditional textiles such as cotton and synthetics. Cotton is labor and water intensive, and when not organic uses large amounts of insecticides and pesticides. Synthetic textiles don't biodegrade, are made of petroleum, and aren't so great for the environment. Resourceful people are now finding ways to reuse waste that would otherwise be thrown away. In the Philippines, The Philippine Textile Research Institute estimated that banana plantations there alone could generate over 300,000 metric tons of fiber. Pinatex, a textile that comes from pineapple leaves that are usually left to waste is showing up in more bags and shoes. The material resembles canvas and is biodegradable. The husks of coconuts have fibrous qualities that can also be transformed into textile. North face currently uses cocona - the textile developed that uses a combination of coconut shells and volcanic materials to make a performance wear fabric. The newest textile is made from oranges.... that idea came out of Italy, from two Sicilian women who wanted to transform citrus byproducts into a new sustainable textile. They created Orange Fiber, a new eco-sustainable textile that thanks to nano-technology also has cosmetic qualities, and hydrates the wearer's skin like a nourishing cream!
Now we're talking....bring on the innovation and the smoothies!