Is Banana Silk Vegan + Sustainable?

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/11/22 •  9 min read

Is banana silk vegan and sustainable? This is a question every ethical shopper asks when buying new clothes. Here are banana silk pros and cons. How will this material impact your home, the environment, animals and laborers? Let’s find out!

is banana silk vegan and sustainable

Clothes are so cheap and trendy these days we buy them even when we don’t ‘need’ them. If you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure materials accommodate your needs but don’t hurt the planet, animals or others. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on whether banana silk is vegan and sustainable.

You are going to learn all about banana silk’s impact on animals and the planet. This will include banana silk benefits for you regarding the durability, versatility and accessibility of the material. You’ll find out if banana silk is sustainable and if banana silk is vegan…or maybe even impacts animals in other ways!

After learning if banana silk is good or bad for your lifestyle, the environment, animals and human rights, you’ll be able to make the best choices you can the next time you shop.

This post is all about asking is banana silk vegan and is banana silk sustainable…something every ethical shopper must know.

Shop Smart! Is Banana Silk Vegan And Sustainable?

HOME

Durability: pros banana silk is durable

Versatility: pros banana silk is luxurious, soft, breathable, can machine wash, does not require dry cleaning, used to make rugs, clothing

Accessibility: banana silk is currently hard to find

Banana silk is…

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12/05/2022 12:04 am GMT

ENVIRONMENT

Fiber source: natural, banana silk is a natural fiber, made from 100% pure banana plant stem

Biodegradable: yes, banana silk is biodegradable

Destruction: banana silk production is relatively sustainable, less water intensive than other fabrics, fibers absorb dyes much better than cotton meaning less water waste, water from plant dyes are used to irrigate fields surrounding the facility creating a closed loop system, compared to other fibers, banana fiber production is extremely resource-efficient, it is renewable, widely available, no additional water or land are needed for its production, banana crops must grow in warm, tropical climates, the world’s primary exporters of bananas are Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica and Guatemala and tend to travel long distances to be sold commercially, bananas use more agrochemicals per hectare than any other crop in the world, banana plantations are associated with monocropping, which causes the soil structure and quality to be so poor farmers must use chemical fertilizers to encourage plant growth and fruit production, pesticides and fertilizers contaminate ground water and become airborne, creating pollution

Banana silk is…

ANIMALS

Kills: none, banana silk production does not require any animals to die

Harms: none, banana silk production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: potentially fish and coral reefs, banana waste is sometimes discarded in streams, while decomposing the waste depletes the water of oxygen, which threatens fish and microorganisms, Caribbean banana plantation runoff causes damage to estuaries and coral reefs

Banana silk is…

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08/15/2022 06:39 pm GMT

LABORERS

Health and safety: hazardous, exposure to toxic pesticides, toxic fungicides are sprayed from airplanes flying overhead, after being exposed to chemicals, they experience ”headaches, fever, dizziness, red eyes, stomach aches, nausea, vomiting, trembling and shaking, itching, burning nostrils, fatigue, and aching bones”, must use sharp knives and machetes, must haul heavy loads of bananas, drink unsanitary water, sexual harassment

Living conditions: poor, in Ecuador (the world’s largest banana exporter) children as young as eight work on banana plantations where a typical workday lasts twelve hours, approximately 1% of banana workers are part of workers’ rights organizations, anti-union discrimination when hiring, workers lack adequate access to bathrooms

Wages: low, children earn an average of $3.50 per day in Ecuador, approximately 60% of the legal minimum wage for banana workers, plantation workers receive a mere 1-3% of a banana’s retail value

Bananas silk…

What are banana silk uses?

Banana silk uses include blouses, sarees, gowns, embroidery, couture furnishings, curtains, cushions, table mats and as an overall substitute for silkworm silk material.

banana silk is durable.

durable, long lasting fabrics, materials and textiles

Is banana silk durable or delicate? Banana silk is durable and long lasting when cared for properly.

For every 5 garments produced, the equivalent of 3 end up in a landfill or incinerated each year!

One reason for such wastefulness society’s ever growing desire to acquire. Fast fashion (creating low-priced items at high volumes) is problematic for a number of reasons and promotes the attitude that clothing is nearly disposable.

But another component of such a quick turnaround on clothing is because it’s just not lasting long enough. Snags, stains, warping and shrinkage render items unusable and unacceptable for the  donation pile. Avoid such problems by buying better quality, more durable, long lasting materials. Timeless wardrobe favorites that last for years and years are more sustainable and reduce the need for replacements. 

Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck full of textiles burns or goes to landfills…

Keep minimalism in mind and buy less, borrow and buy items second hand. Thrift shops offer many inexpensive, unique finds that have already proven to stand the test of time!

banana silk is moderately sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Is banana silk eco friendly and sustainable? Yes, overall, banana silk is sustainable. Compared to other fibers, banana fiber production is extremely resource-efficient, renewable and widely available. When compared to traditional silk, banana leather is far more sustainable overall.

However, banana silk may be unsustainable if bananas are not organic or moderately sustainable if organic.

Banana crops must grow in warm, tropical climates and the world’s primary exporters of bananas are Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Bananas travel long distances and banana crops use more agrochemicals per hectare than any other crop in the world. Banana plantations involve monocropping, which causes the soil structure and quality to be so poor that farmers must use chemical fertilizers to encourage plant growth and fruit production. Pesticides and fertilizers contaminate ground water and become airborne, creating pollution. Monocropping is not an issue if the product is organic.

Animal materials are a natural fiber and biodegradable unless heavily treated with chemicals. However, they are not at all eco-friendly or sustainable due to the overwhelming strain on natural resources; the water needed, food needed and land usage that must happen for such abundant amounts of animals to live.

Animal agriculture is not good for the environment, human health and of course, the animals themselves. Thus, animal derived, non-vegan materials are not only cruel and inhumane but environmentally unsustainable. 

Wow! …So it’s time to start using sustainable fabrics, materials and textiles.

Read more about ‘What Makes Fabric Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’

banana silk is vegan but may negatively impact wildlife.

banana silk is vegan but may negatively impact wildlife.

Is banana silk vegan? Yes, banana silk is vegan but may negatively impact wildlife.

Banana waste discards sometimes goes into streams. While decomposing, the waste depletes the water of oxygen, which threatens fish and microorganisms. Caribbean banana plantation runoff causes damage to estuaries and coral reefs.

Before buying a pair of shoes, a sweater, a purse, check the materials. Common and unfortunately popular animal-derived materials include leather, suede, fur, feathers, mohair and wool which often come from places like India and China where there can be NO animal welfare laws or enforcement. If the item does come from a more developed area of the world, such as the United States or Europe, that animal was likely a victim of factory farming.

Dressing and decorating vegan is easier than ever with this: Vegan Fabrics, Materials and Textiles List

banana silk is a material that indirectly has laborer issues.

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Is banana silk a material that has laborer issues? At this time, there are no known specific reports of worker mistreatment regarding banana silk production but there are concerns regarding banana production.

When banana farming, workers face exposure to toxic pesticides and toxic fungicides sprayed from airplanes flying overhead. After chemical exposure, laborers may experience ”headaches, fever, dizziness, red eyes, stomach aches, nausea, vomiting, trembling and shaking, itching, burning nostrils, fatigue, and aching bones”. They must use sharp knives and machetes and haul heavy loads of bananas. Reports have exposed drink unsanitary water and sexual harassment.

In Ecuador (the world’s largest banana exporter) children as young as eight work on banana plantations where a typical workday lasts twelve hours. Approximately 1% of banana workers are part of workers’ rights organizations and there is anti-union discrimination when hiring.

Wages for workers are typically low and banana farming children earn an average of $3.50 per day in Ecuador (approximately 60% of the legal minimum wage for banana workers. Plantation workers receive a mere 1-3% of a banana’s retail value.Did you know that the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? Whether agriculture involves crops or animals, the labor behind each and every product made from cotton, leather, wool, etc. cannot go unrecognized. 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives simply by being mindful to buy items that are certified fair trade. 

So, is banana silk vegan and sustainable? Yes, banana silk is vegan and moderately sustainable.

This post was all about answering if banana silk is vegan and sustainable.

Sources:

Sustainable Fashion Collective: What is banana fibre?
Nazmiyal Collection: Banana Silk Guide
From Waste to Value: Banana Fibre for Fashion and Textiles
From Apples to Kombucha Tea: See the Ingenious Way Designers Are Making Vegan Leather
Human Rights Watch: Ecuador: Widespread Labor Abuse on Banana Plantations
Food Empowerment Project: PEELING BACK THE TRUTH ON BANANAS
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
Grandview Research: Synthetic Leather Market Worth $40.9 Billion By 2027 | CAGR: 4.4%

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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