Try banana jeans this summer – sweat less and save the planet

in Want

Banana fibre jeans could be the next big thing in fashion. In most countries it’s impossible to imagine our summers without jeans. For Indian people, wearing jeans in the stifling summer heat is a pastime reserved solely for masochists.

In response to Indian summers which can reach extreme temperatures, a Chennai-based weaver, C. Sekar, has decided to make trousers with the same look and feel of classic jeans, but without the sweat factor!

Sekar lives in Anakaputhur, a suburb of Chennai, and is the president of the Jute Weavers Association. He’s famous for experimenting with different weaving methods – at one point he wove one saree from 25 different kinds of fabric! This small ‘weaver’s village’ community has developed and used many eco-friendly fabrics over the years, including Java cotton, a type of fibre obtained from the kapok tree. Their latest products are jeans made from banana fibre.

Dave the macaque ponders if banana jeans come in his size and are they edible.
Dave the macaque ponders if banana jeans come in his size and are they edible.

Sekar claims this special fabric, woven from banana fibre and cotton, absorbs more water than denim, making it considerably more appropriate for the hot Indian weather. His weaving unit has capitalized on this new fibre, launching both trousers and skirts as new products.

His innovation has not gone unnoticed, and officials from Andaman and Nicobar Islands have recently asked him to help train artisans in this new weaving method.

These ingenious no-sweat garments are 100% eco-friendly – the fabric is dyed with natural colours, and coconut shells are used in place of metal buttons and zippers. Banana fibre jeans are not only a more comfortable and healthy alternative to clothes made of synthetic materials, but also a cheaper one. Sekar’s invention has proven hugely popular among Indian people, being both cheaper and more comfortable than alternative fabrics.

In 1918, Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka commissioned a life-sized sex doll of his former lover, Alma Mahler (widow of composer Gustav Mahler and then-wife of architect Walter Gropius). He dressed it in custom-made clothes and took it with him on trips, to cafés, and to the theater. He destroyed it publicly several years later, claiming it had “cured him of his passions." 

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