A bananas innovation in textiles

Oscar Ndayisenga launched Ecofitext in 2021 and July 2022 the start-up scooped the Newcomer category organised by Managers without Borders.

Based in the capital of Burundi, Gitega, Ecofitext specialises in eco fibre production and earth-friendly textile products from the agricultural waste of banana trees grown by local farmers, creating sustainable biodegradable products and textiles for the fashion industry.

For every ton of banana fruit produced two tons of plant mass is wasted and this waste is the base of the manufacturing process.

“The world population is growing and must be fed,” explains Ndavisenga. “However, cultivable areas are limited. And plantations intended for food production face competition from crops for utilitarian purposes, such as cotton for example.

“Banana fibre uses seven times less water per ton produced than cotton and twelve times less fertilisers.

“Bananas remain the best solution to produce both food and fibres. We are leading the way in grass roots circular economic innovation, working to uplift communities, create jobs, establish sustainable farming practices, and build strong links with international textile and fashion communities. We believe that waste is not waste, but rather a good resource of creation, an opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions, solve climate change problems, create cleaner rivers and lakes, and improve unemployment of youth and women. Banana fibre comes from the stem of the banana tree, which after harvesting is normally discarded. Ecofitext buys stems from collectives of local farmers. After we extract the fibre, the residue left over is fermented and used by farmers as an organic fertiliser.”

For more information: https://ecofitext.com/about-us/

#environment #farming #textiles #innovation #Africa #Burundi