Softened banana leaf, water hyacinth leaf, corn-silk… you don’t often hear these terms used in fashion and apparel, but this ecologically-aware travel kit is set to change that status quo. Ditching the more commonly used materials like microbeads, lycra, neoprene, memory-foam, etc, the Banana Leaf Travel Kit is made entirely out of naturally available resources, with minimal processing, and is designed to be soothing, soft-to-the-touch but also entirely disposable and biodegradable.
Designed by Aishwarya Nair along with assistance from Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven, the Banana Leaf Travel Kit introduces a new material to the world…Softened Banana Leaf, a fabric that’s created after treating banana leaves with a “special solution” that allows them to become permanently soft and feel great against the skin.
The travel kit is a set of accessories that Aishwarya claims are perfect for hotels, travel agencies, flights, or even tropical cruises to distribute to their patrons. Based loosely on Mahatma Gandhi’s fabled concept of “hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil”, the kit contains a mouth-mask, an eye-mask, and a pair of earmuffs. The mouth-mask is made with softened banana leaves, while the eye-mask uses a banana-leaf exterior and a corn-silk interior for utmost comfort. Usually thrown away as a by-product of corn-harvesting, the silk is known to be soft, and when stuffed inside the banana-leaf envelope, gives the material a new lease of life. The earmuffs come made from the banana leaf too, but contain a layer of softened water-hyacinth on the inside. Water hyacinth is one of the world’s fastest growing plants, and is often considered a nuisance for the way it covers entire lakes, starving the eco-system beneath it of sunlight and oxygen. Using water-hyacinth to make travel accessories would give one access to an entire reservoir of raw-material that’s all up for grabs.
Ultimately, the entire kit is made with natural materials and elastic-cords that secure the products around your face. Use them as many times as you need and dispose them and the banana leaves, corn-silk, and water hyacinth biodegrade almost instantly, returning back to nature, rather than polluting it!
Designer: Aishwarya Nair for Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven