A Micronesia-based startup is turning banana tree waste into fashionable wallets that benefit the local economy and environment.
Eco fashion is one of the hottest trends right now, which is why you might soon see wallets made from banana trees clutched in peoples’ hands. Made from banana fiber, the vegan “leather” wallets are actually produced by a Micronesia-based startup called Green Banana Paper.
The environmentally-minded company is on a mission to provide the world with leather-like wallets that are made from ethical and eco-friendly materials. Not only are they stylish, the sale of the wallets help improve the lives of local farmers.
As Inhabitat reports, banana trees require a surprising amount of work to upkeep. In Kosrae, Micronesia, there are approximately 200,000 banana trees spread across the island. After harvesting, local farmers are required to cut down the plants every year to promote new fruit production. That can result in a lot of waste, which is why the brain behind Green Banana Paper, New England native Matt Simpson, decided to develop a solution to repurpose the banana leaves.
Simpson founded the social enterprise which produces strong as well as water-resistant wallets. Every product features designs inspired by the island, such as coconut palms, ocean life and, of course, the people. To raise funds to hire more people and improve the quality of the product, Simpson started Kickstarter campaign.
Says the company, “Green Banana Paper wallets are not only ecofriendly; they are helping to provide a living wage to Kosraean families. Matt hopes to continue to scale up production, and get even more people on the island involved in this truly community-oriented business.”
Supporters can receive their own banana fiber wallet, which can be shipped around the world. So far, the campaign has raised more than double its goal, so you better order yours fast.
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