Dezeen Magazine

A model wearing a grey tracksuit

Ganni and Pyratex create tracksuit collection made from banana waste

Danish fashion brand Ganni has teamed up with Spanish material research company Pyratex to create a grey clothing collection made from a banana-waste biomaterial.

The three-piece capsule collection, which is designed to be a more sustainable alternative to traditional polyester tracksuits, comprises a pair of jogging bottoms, a square-necked crop top with a zip-up back and a cropped hoodie.

Each item has been made with Element 2, a fabric created by Pyratex that combines waste from the banana food industry – including leaves, trunks and branches – with organic cotton.

The material forms part of Ganni's Fabrics of the Future, an initiative that develops innovative materials for its clothing collections.

A woman wearing a grey tracksuit by Ganni
Ganni and Pyratex have released a three-piece tracksuit collection

"Our goal is to diversify the natural fibers we wear to avoid synthetic fibers and the overexploitation of cotton or linen," said Pyratex founder and chief executive officer Regina Polanco.

"We want to allow the innovative fibers we work with to become as commonplace in our wardrobes as cotton, linen, or even synthetic fabrics," Polanco told Dezeen.

A woman wearing a grey crop top and tracksuit bottoms
The garments are produced with Element 2, a material made from banana waste

To create Element 2, Pyratex first sourced the banana waste from banana farms located in southern Indian states – specifically Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

"In the case of Pyratex Element 2, our banana agri-waste fiber is obtained from the waste leaves, trunks and branches resulting from banana fruit agriculture," Polanco explained.

She defines agri-waste as "the waste resulting from agricultural operations".

A model wearing a hoody and jogging bottoms
It is made from waste banana leaves, trunks and branches and cotton

The rough and strong banana fibre is then dyed with reactive dyes before being softened with water vapour, which Polanco said has a smaller environmental impact than traditional chemical textile softening.

The company then knits this fabric together with 65 per cent organic cotton at its partner mill in Portugal. The resulting textile is designed to feel like soft cotton.

According to Polanco, waste is traditionally burned when the banana tree is harvested, which releases large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

"The Indian state of Tamil Nadu is the largest producer of bananas in the country, cultivating around nine million metric tons (MT) annually," Polanco said.

"There is a long tradition in India of burning agricultural waste: when harvesting the banana tree, leaves and trunks are burned," she continued.

"This produces high CO2 levels released into the atmosphere; however, by using this waste as fiber, Pyratex avoids CO2 emissions and any negative impact on the environment."

A woman wearing a dark grey Ganni hoody
The resulting material is designed to feel soft and supple

Polanco hopes that the collection will encourage consumers to switch from buying synthetic materials to clothes made from biomaterials, which could significantly reduce fashion's negative environmental impact on the planet.

"The concept behind the collection is giving visibility to innovative products and making these available to consumers," Polanco said.

"Making garments with responsible fabrics like ours is a big step towards a better fashion consumption, and Ganni has shown they're not scared to innovate for a better planet," she added.

Other designers have also looked to plant-based materials to create more sustainable fashion products. New York-based designer Charlotte McCurdy used algae to make a water-resistant jacket that captures CO2 from the atmosphere.

Meanwhile, luxury French fashion house Hermès collaborated with biomaterials company MycoWorks to reimagine its Victoria shopper bag using a leather alternative grown from mycelium.

Images are courtesy of Ganni.