Swiss backpack brand QWSTION has been awarded the Design Prize Switzerland 2019 in the textile category for its textile “Bananatex.” The technical textile is made from banana plant fibers known as banana hemp or abaca. The fibers are reported to give the bags strength and durability; a coating of beeswax provides water-resistance.
Sustainability is an integral part of the textile design. Bananatex fabric is made from organically cultivated banana plants from the Philippine highlands, which require no pesticides or watering. All designs use patterns that minimize waste in the cutting process of the parts. The fabric is biodegradable and the buckles and zippers can be recycled.
Bananatex represents three years of research. QWSTION developed the textile as an open- source project and encourages other brands to use it.
Comments that accompanied the Design Prize award included, “With Bananatex the Zurich bag label QWSTION has managed to achieve a noteworthy fabric development, which impresses practically through the whole range. The remarkable and exemplary feature of this project also seems to be the full disclosure of the production and supply chain as well as the resource consumption.”