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Eco-friendly banana-fibre saree invented

Published : 01 Apr 2023 10:51 PM | Updated : 02 Apr 2023 12:39 AM

Banana stems, usually considered as waste, are likely going to be used for banana-fiber textiles in Bangladesh as green saree from banana-fiber has been invented in Bandarban, a district in the Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHTs). 

A beautiful saree has been made from the fibers of the banana tree in Bandarban. The local district administration claimed that it is the first case of making yarn and saree from banana-fiber in the country.  

Sheikh Abdullah Al Mamun, Nezarat Deputy Collectorate (NDC) of Bandarban confirmed the development to Bangladesh Post on Saturday (April 1). He said that the saree was finally made on March 31 (Friday) at the initiative of the district administration and under the direct supervision of Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Bandarban Yasmin ParvinTibriji. 

The Bandarban district administration claimed that banana-fiber saree is eco-friendly as it is organic and biodegradable. 

Talking to Bangladesh Post on Saturday, Bandarban DC Yasmin ParvinTibriji said, “I am very happy and satisfied to inform you that the saree has been successfully made from banana fibers. I don’t know if anyone has made a saree out of banana tree yarn anywhere else in Bangladesh. If not, this will be the first saree made of banana yarn.”

Claiming it as an eco-friendly textile, she said that banana-fiber saree will play a vital role in the employment generation of hilly women in the CHTs. 

The banana trees are cut after harvesting the fruit. Through this, a new possibility of commercial use of banana trees grown in abundance in the hilly districts has also been created. Many poor families will also be self-reliant, she added. 

The main artisan of this saree is Radhabhati Devi, a member of the Manipuri community in Moulvibazar district. She came to Bandarban district and weaved this saree in response to the call of Bandarban DC. 

Those who weave Manipuri sarees in her area in Moulvibazar told Radhabhati not to take this responsibility. Because they were afraid that she would fail and the Manipuri weavers may be undermined if she could not implement what she promised to the DC. “Radhabhati Devi later took this challenge following our inspiration and she succeeded,” said Yasmin ParvinTibriji. 

When asked about the eco-friendly matter of the banana-fiber saree, Prof. Dr. Ahmad KamruzzamanMajumder, chairman of the Department of Environmental Science at Stamford University Bangladesh said that if the saree is made from banana fiber, it can be eco-friendly. But it needs more experiments and research.

Earlier green bag or ‘Sonali Bag’ was made from jute fiber, which is eco-friendly. Because such products are perishable. Banana fiber is also biodegradable. However, the final statement can be made following more experiments and research, said Prof. Dr. Ahmad KamruzzamanMajumder.

The banana stems are plentiful in Bandarban and other areas in CHTs. The manual extraction of fibers from the stems is labour intensive and time consuming. The Banana tree stems are usually wasted and thrown away as agricultural dump. If the tree stems are used for making saree, it will play a vital role in saving the environment.