banana leaves, corn silk, and pond plants were some of the primary ingredients in these three sustainably-stylish travel accessories, designed in collaboration by aishwarya nair and studio tjeerd veenhoven. the travel kit — a face mask, eye mask and ear muffs — cover our mouths, eyes and ears with magically soft touches from parts of plants we normally discard. 

banana leaf travel kit
all images courtesy of aishwarya nair for studio tjeerd veenhoven



appropriately, the banana leaf travel kit is inspired by ‘the three wise monkeys’ (gandhiji ke teen bandar). speak no evil with the face mask. see no evil with the eye mask. hear no evil with the ear mufflers — and do no evil by wearing something organic that the earth will thank you for.

banana leaf travel kit



but what is a banana leaf? imagine a long green tablecloth — a huge, decorative leaf the size of a thigh that becomes dry and brittle in its natural state, eventually crumbling when touched. but after it’s treated with organic solutions, it becomes permanently soft. now, we’re the wise monkeys — using this gift of a material from the earth in ways they’ve never been used before. 

banana leaf travel kit



the eye mask is made of softened banana leaf and stuffed with dried corn silk (the slimy part you peel off a corn husk). together the two materials create a comfort that gives cotton or sponge cushioning a run for their money.

banana leaf travel kit



the ear muffler is basically made from pond scum. ‘water hyacinth’ is one of the fastest growing pond plants and considered, by many, a nuisance. here it’s used for its unique cushioning property, strong enough to protect from cold winds and thick enough to absorb noise pollution.

banana leaf travel kit



the project is an outcome of rigorous explorations with natural fibers and materials and treated with the softening solutions that STV developed, which permanently softens various materials. after selecting the natural materials, aishwarya nair conducted experiments — heating, stitching, bending, weaving, soaking in the softening solution, to name a few. later based on the potential of the material and its benefits, this product series was developed in order to make a positive impact.
banana leaf travel kit



the face mask is made with softened banana leaf. and, to tie it all together, the eye mask, face mask and ear muffs come in a banana leaf bag. cover your face from the toxins of the city. let a bit of nature caress your nose. block out the sound of the subway with pond-nuisance. set a bit of corn husk over your eyes at night. say, hear and see no evil — and know that you’ve done some good by choosing a truly organic, literal banana leaf to wrap around your face.

speak, see and hear no evil with this sustainable banana leaf travel kit  speak, see and hear no evil with this sustainable banana leaf travel kit 


project info:


project title: banana leaf travel kit
year: 2017
photo credits: aishwarya nair
project credits: aishwarya nair x studio tjeerd veenhoven