Alumni News

The startup Indianes creates the first biodegradable shoes made of banana fibers


A 100% biodegradable shoes manufactured from banana farming waste? Yes, you read well. This footwear is already a reality and will be marketed soon in our country, but also in Germany, Italy, Canada and Russia.

The project has been led by Indianes, a Barcelona startup that has been researching for years how to create a totally natural, biodegradable shoe and no trace of harmful chemicals.

Circular economy, local crafts and sustainability

To achieve their goal, Indianes team have worked closely with communities of banana craftsmen in the mountains of Colombia. Learners of ancestral techniques, these have helped them to define the processes to extract natural fibers from banana waste, which, once clean, can be used as a material.

The next step, already in Catalonia, has been to produce the natural knitwear used in the manufacture of new footwear.

According to Indianes founders, "compared to cotton, the banana fiber tissue requires much less water consumption." It is estimated that to produce a pair of standard shoes, about 100 grams of cotton are needed, which require 1,000 liters of water, the same amount that a person drinks for a whole year.

Contrary to cotton, the obtaining of banana fiber almost does not generate emissions, since the fiber comes from an agricultural waste that does not require to be cultivated, neither water, nor energy nor pesticides.

In addition, the textile technology used by Indianes allows to weave the pieces of the footwear without cuts or residues, using adhesives with water base, which means that they are biodegraded in a maximum of two years.

Entrepreneurship made in Elisava

Indianes is a startup driven by Ivan Rojas and Diana Feliu, both alumni of Elisava's Master's Degree in Design and Product Development.

The Catalan company, specialized in the development of sustainable and ecological footwear, has been the first to grow within the framework of Viver Elisava Alumni, platform promoted by the Association of Elisava's former students and promoted by young entrepreneurs with advice from Barcelona Activa.

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