The introduction of vegan leather to the market was a big step towards a reality – still, unfortunately, a very utopian one – where animals are not killed for such superficial and selfish reasons as the production of clothes and shoes. However, making faux leather does not happen without a significant impact on the environment. Most of vegan leather is produced with the use of polyurethane which comes from fossil fuels and can be toxic.
Recently, this detrimental technology found its alternative. Green Banana Paper, a startup from Kosrae in Micronesia, created a cruelty-free leather made of banana fiber. The creators used banana tree waste and transformed it into vegan leather wallets – not only eco-friendly, but also seriously durable and quite stylish at that.
This particular solution to the problem of faux leather production is beneficial for the environment – every day, a great amount of banana fiber waste is left on the ground after harvesting. For others, it is just trash – but for Matt Simpson, the founder of Green Banana Paper, it appeared as a great material with big potential.
Apart from the fact that the production of this new kind of vegan leather is highly eco-friendly, the undertaking also helps people directly, as it gives jobs to many Kosrae locals, helping them make a living wage. Simpson hopes to scale up production and develop the business further to help more and more people – and, of course, our planet.
Besides the obvious fact of animals being needlessly and cruelly killed, the leather industry is also among the major causes of deforestation (as it is closely tied to the meat industry), water pollution, and other threats to the environment. So not matter how you look at it, a sustainable alternative to animal leather is quite welcome!
Image source: Green Banana Paper