QWSTION's waterproof fabric made from banana plants wins design prize switzerland 2019

QWSTION's waterproof fabric made from banana plants wins design prize switzerland 2019

swiss backpack brand QWSTION has been awarded the prestigious design prize switzerland 2019 in the textile category for bananatex® — the world’s first technical textile made from banana plant fibres. founded in 2008 by matthias graf, christian kägi, sebastian kruit, fabrice aeberhard and hannes schönegger, the zurich-based bag label is known for combining design and functionality with sustainability, as well as becoming synonymous with research and development. their array of products are versatile carry solutions for everyday use, with an understated look and a low environmental footprint.

QWSTION's waterproof fabric made from banana plants wins design prize switzerland 2019
images courtesy of QWSTION



since its inception, QWSTION has been exploring ways to make bags from renewable resources. bananatex® is the result of this research, featuring a fabric made from organically-cultivated banana plants original from the philippine highlands. known as banana hemp or abacá, this banana tree family is sturdy and self-sufficient, requiring no pesticides or water.



‘over the past three years we’ve developed bananatex®, a sleek, waterproof fabric made from 100% natural banana fibres,’ says QWSTION. ‘at once super strong and durable, yet light and flexible, the natural beeswax coating gives it a smooth, water-resistant finish and a supple hand feel. given our ultimate aim of offering a viable alternative to the synthetic fabrics that currently dominate the bag industry, we’ve developed bananatex® as an open source project, and want to encourage other brands to use it.’

QWSTION's waterproof fabric made from banana plants wins design prize switzerland 2019



QWSTION’s bags are not only sustainable and beautiful, they also offer multiple carrying options to adapt to the user’s needs. the company has divided their portfolio into three different categories: business, leisure and travel. both practical and functional, the bags are also durable and timeless. all designs take into consideration characteristics of the bananatex® material, with patterns designed to minimize waste in the cutting process of the individual parts. what’s even better is that at the end of the bag’s lifecycle, their fabric is 100% biodegradable and the buckles and zippers can be recycled. over the past years, QWSTION has also collaborated with different labels, designers and creatives who share their same creative approach. among them you can find pieces by julian zigerli, peter kruder, ECAL and million.



when awarded the design prize switzerland 2019, the comments of the nominators were: 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. the fact that QWSTION has launched the fabric development as an open-source project and the textile is available to other companies, proves the credibility of the label in its commitment to a sustainable economic framework. 

QWSTION's waterproof fabric made from banana plants wins design prize switzerland 2019

QWSTION's waterproof fabric made from banana plants wins design prize switzerland 2019



first held in 1991, the design prize switzerland is now a leading institution of the swiss design industry. the competition, which takes place every two years, is aimed at enhancing the significance of swiss design. it awards prizes for outstanding achievements in all design disciplines relevant to the industry. the design prize switzerland thus succeeds in highlighting a wide range of swiss innovative talent.

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