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Brief Published: 20 Apr 2021

H&M Launches Sneakers Made of Banana Waste


As part of its ongoing quest for sustainability and transparency, H&M is furthering its drive for material innovation by launching an eco-friendly sneaker made from banana plant fibres.

In collaboration with London-based sustainable footwear brand Good News, the fashion giant is launching a sneaker made from Bananatex – a waterproof and highly durable material developed using only banana plants. Indian B2B textile industry platform Fibre 2 Fashion describes banana plant fibre as being lightweight and lustrous with good moisture absorption, and a potentially lucrative resource that has not yet been fully exploited.

H&M is a key player when it comes to adopting sustainable material innovations – particularly from food waste – at a mass-market level. Having previously experimented with vegan leathers made from cactus, wine industry waste and pineapple, as well as silks made from oranges, the Swedish fashion giant makes a strong case for the use of plant-based and food waste material alternatives on the high street.

Cross-industry, bananas have been gaining attention as a flexible and versatile ingredient, with the alcohol industry quick to capitalise on its uses, as well as proving popular in sustainable packaging innovations.

The takeaway? Fashion brands need to look beyond their own industry when it comes to exploring sustainable innovations in order to find the best fit for their business. Take a cue from H&M by considering plant-based materials a tried-and-tested alternative, and don’t be afraid to team up with experts if necessary.

For more, see our Sustainable Fashion Spotlight, and read Redressing Leather for further insights into the benefits and applications of plant-based alternatives.