Gujarat, known for its textile industry and polyester output from Surat, seems poised to adopt green practices in its drapes too. Since synthetic material is not biodegradable, this move comes in line with opting for environment-friendly choices. Vegan fibre and silk is Surat’s latest breakthrough. Nearly 80 percent of the fabrics available in the market are polyester-based. Handloom-spun, cotton and linen are among the few 100 percent natural fiber-based materials.
Local ventures rallying for the cause include Navsari Agricultural University and Meher International. Sources said, “Not only will it help in waste management, it would also lead to income generation. Plantain stems usually weigh around 45 kgs and are considered waste. The farmers incur an additional Rs 15,000 per hectare cost for removal of the eco trash. This will help them earn from the waste.”
“These natural fibers have always been available but find little commercial use. These are vegan fibre. If we can use it for employment generation too, the yield would find an end-to-end use.”
Natural fibers, though comfortable, come with the high maintenance and costly tags. The pricing can be remedied only if the demand were to increase significantly. So far, yarn derived from pineapple, banana and birchwood have been successfully experimented with. Some research is on in the state to maximize yarn generation from discarded wastes.