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Balenciaga partners with sustainable fiber developers to launch new sneakers made from bananas: 'A really exciting development within the textiles industry'

It's promising to see beloved products getting much-needed makeovers.

It's promising to see beloved products getting much-needed makeovers.

Photo Credit: Balenciaga

Fashion fans, get ready to go bananas for high-end kicks that support your style and the planet. 

When you think of "chic footwear," your thoughts probably drift to your closet, not your kitchen — until now. Famous fashion label Balenciaga just released a new and improved version of its iconic Triple S sneakers — made out of, yes, actual bananas

Bananatex, by Swiss style company QWSTION, is an eco-friendly, plastic-free, sturdy canvas fabric created from Abacá banana plants grown in the Philippine highlands, reported vegan business magazine Vegconomist. 

The final Bananatex material took three years to manufacture because of the thoughtful, intensive work required to achieve the company's lofty goal: a completely biodegradable, "circular alternative to synthetic fabrics," the story detailed

Circular products can be reused in part or in whole for a long time and ultimately recycled. This extends the life cycle of the item and reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Clothing made from materials like nylon and polyester (manufactured using harmful chemicals) piles up in landfills to decompose over a long period of time after they are discarded, a process that releases toxic pollution into our air and water.

The award-winning fabric also supports the growth and repopulation of natural plants and wildlife. Because Abacá banana plants are native to the Philippine highlands region, they do not require chemical treatment, significant maintenance, or additional hydration, important "in areas eroded by palm plantations," Vegconomist noted

The average American throws away a staggering 80 pounds of clothing per year, making fashion a serious contributor to the environmental pollution wreaking havoc on our health, economy, weather, and more. Investing in longer-lasting products derived from natural fibers like Bananatex is one critical way to help reduce textile waste. It's promising to see beloved products getting much-needed makeovers.  

Serious about sustainable style? Stop shopping fast fashion and, instead, browse thrift stores, upcycle old looks, and support eco-friendly projects from brands in industries from food to home goods to fashion. Hopefully, Balenciaga will continue its greener practices. According to the company's website, the luxury line is working to implement "innovative techniques and textiles without compromising creativity." 

The Vegconomist relayed comments from Jodie Brown, a certification office for The Vegan Trademark: "This is a really exciting development within the textiles industry and we hope registrations like Bananatex ultimately lead to more vegan products being released into the market, which will show just how accessible vegan fashion can be."

In a LinkedIn post, Bananatex co-founder Hannes Schoenegger expressed excitement for the partnership and optimism for future initiatives: "We are looking forward to many more." 

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