THE world’s most remote islands are crafting accessories from an unusual material: waxed paper made from banana trees.
Harvested on Kosrae in Micronesia, the smooth, shiny and waterproof fibre is a vegan alternative to leather.
According to the Green Banana Paper’s website, a banana tree only bears fruit once, so in Kosrae they are usually cut down and left to rot once they have done so.
The company therefore makes use of this abundant resource in what they call a “waste to wealth” business model.
The banana trunks are turned into pulp, which is then processed into paper before being treated with a sealant.
Founder Matt Simpson believes that “Green Banana Paper epitomises social enterprise ideals”.
He also stresses that their products are “benefiting over 100 families, farmers and friends” in the community.
Green Banana Paper offers wallets and bags on their online shop, as well cards and plain banana paper.
The wallets come in men’s and women’s variants, in a range of four different designs.
Creative consumers can even order a blank version and add their own designs.
However, at just under 50 dollars per wallet before shipping, these accessories might not be suited to every pocket. The company has an active Kickstarter campaign that has already raised 25,000 US dollars. – dpa