British fashion designer Stella McCartney is continuing to innovate and invest in leather alternatives with its first-ever bag crafted from Bananatex, a durable and waterproof fabric that is entirely natural, circular and plastic-free.
The vegan logo tote, part of the Stella McCartney autumn/winter 2023 collection, is embroidered with the brand’s iconic Fungi Forest toile de Jouy print in burgundy, which has been woven onto the Bananatex base using post-consumer recycled polyester thread.
Bananatex, a Cradle to Cradle Gold-certified fabric, is made from naturally grown Abacá banana plants cultivated in the Philippines that are self-sufficient, requiring zero pesticides or fertilisers. The species is abundant in the local ecosystem, with each plant offering several stalks that can be harvested annually before regenerating fully within a year. During that time, it serves as a source of nutrition for the surrounding biodiversity.
The stalks of the Abacá plant have tensile strength and durability, which can be turned into a “luxurious, high-quality, cotton-like canvas,” explains the brand. In addition, once harvested, the plants’ leaves naturally decompose to create an all-natural fertiliser and the plant can “positively contribute to reforestation in areas of the Philippines that were once monocultural palm”.
The Bananatex fabric can also be processed back into pulp and then into paper, which can become yarn once again.
Hannes Schoenegger, co-founder and chief executive of Bananatex, said in a statement: “Stella McCartney has always been the pioneering fashion brand for animal rights as well as environmentalism. Starting this cooperation with our fully circular textiles marks an important milestone in the Bananatex history. It’s our goal to contribute to positive change and we are looking forward to many fruitful developments in the future.”
The Stella logo Fungi Forest Toile de Jouy tote bag is available for 1,350 pounds from Stella McCartney boutiques and online.