Dole Sunshine Company (DSC) has partnered with social enterprise Musa Fabric to turn banana waste into fibres of purpose through a partnership creating textiles, woven by inmates.
As part of the Dole Promise towards zero fruit loss and reduced landfills necessary for carbon neutrality, DSC and Musa Fabric are collaborating with Kasilak Foundation to train marginalised communities with new skills in processing for textile development for these fashion garments. A capsule collection debuted at New York Fashion Week in February 2022.
How the partnership works
- DSC will work with long-term partner, Kasilak Foundation to identify members of marginalised communities in the highlands of Bukidnon for training of extraction of fibres from banana pseudo-stem waste.
- Musa Fabric will train all the beneficiaries identified in Bukidnon. The subsequent yarn that is extracted from the waste will be sent to the Davao Penal Colony, where more than a hundred female and male prisoners will weave the yarn into fabric.
- The woven fabric will then be developed into fashion products (garments and accessories) worth over 50M USD by the same beneficiaries in Bukidnon.
- Finished fashion products will be sold via Musa Fabric to conscious consumers in more than nine countries around the world.
The Partnership delivers circular and sustainable fashion alternatives
The Dole-Musa collaboration achieves a more circular and sustainable process with the banana fibre - the fibre of purpose - for the maker, the consumer and the ultimate producer, our planet. Limiting 4.4 million pieces (200,000 metric tonnes) of banana stem waste from reaching landfills, can reduce approximately 258,720 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions, and instead create fashion products worth over 50M USD, benefiting the livelihoods of more than a hundred people.
This Partnership delivers 3 Dole promises of zero fruit loss, carbon neutrality and shared value of all stakeholders -
- Zero Fruit Loss – Between April-September 2022, DSC will divert 4.4 million pieces (200,000 MT) of banana pseudostem waste post-harvest for upcycling into banana fibre.
- Carbon Neutrality – Preventing 200,000 metric tonnes of waste from reaching landfills, can reduce approximately 258,720 tonnes of CO2e emissions.
- Shared Value of All Stakeholders – The partnership between DSC and Musa Fabric will benefit the Kasilak Foundation, marginalised communities in the highlands of Bukidnon, inmates at Davao Penal Colony, and conscious consumers around the world. Upskilling, technology transfer, employability and sustainable fashion alternatives are key outcomes that will elevate shared value for all stakeholders involved.
On the partnership, Christian Wiegele, President, Fresh Produce Group, Dole Sunshine Company, said: “Aside from working towards zero fruit loss by 2025, the Dole Promise also includes committing to creating shared value for all our stakeholders. Our collaboration with Musa Fabric allows us to not just reduce, but upcycle and repurpose banana waste, and to also create a sustainable source of income and employment for the local community while boosting the employability of the inmates at Davao Penal Colony after their release, making this move much more meaningful and purposeful.”
Bags, clothing, and other fashion wear made from the Musa Fabric using DSC’s banana fibres also made their runway debut this New York Fashion Week. View the partnership video here.
Joy Soo, founder of Musa Fabric and designer of the Dole-Musa line of products, added: “Our runway showcase of fashion products developed with banana waste fibre was widely appreciated at New York Fashion Week. Consumers around the world are getting more conscious about their choices and have begun to demand planet-friendly and people-friendly fashion options. The collaboration with Dole Sunshine Company is very important in highlighting the applications of upcycled banana fibres.”
About The Dole Sunshine Company
The name Dole Sunshine Company is used to represent the global interests and combined efforts of Dole Asia Holdings, Dole Worldwide Packaged Foods and Dole Asia Fresh. Dole Sunshine Company is not an actual business entity and does not operate as such in any country or region. For more information on Dole Sunshine Company, please visit DoleSunshine.com.
About The Dole Promise
In June 2020 Dole Asia Holdings announced the Dole Promise, with its three pillars around nutrition, sustainability, and the creation of shared value.
- Better for People: Access to sustainable nutrition for 1 billion people by 2025, moving towards zero processed sugar in all Dole products by 2025.
- Better for Planet: Zero fruit loss from Dole farms to markets by 2025, zero fossil-fuel based plastic packaging by 2025, net zero carbon emissions in Dole operations by 2030.
- Better for all Stakeholders: Dole will continue to positively impact all farmers, communities and people working for Dole – through its commitment to equal opportunity, living wages, and an ever-increasing level of safety, nutrition, and wellbeing. The company also seeks to advance human rights within the direct operations and supply chains by building a culture of transparency and accountability.
About Musa Fabric
The Musa Advocacy, founded by Ms. Joy Soo, CPA, Mrs Philippines Grand International Classic 2021 and Earth Pageants Philippines National Director during the onset of the pandemic in 2020, is anchored on one significant purpose of creating artistic tribal vogue called MUSA FABRIC behind bars in the jail institutions of Davao del Norte.
Musa Fabric as having been showcased in the New York Fashion Week of February 2022 is made of banana fibre that is abundant in the province being the banana capital of the Philippines.
These are made into fashion apparels and accessories like clothes, bags, hats, shoes, earrings, necklaces, bracelets etc. by local seamstresses and artists that are exported in different parts of the world like USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Switzerland, Germany and Morocco.
It also benefits the indigenous communities of the province through the Care for Musa Foundation with its monthly outreach programme that makes the Musa Advocacy a sustainable livelihood of the people behind this project.
Every purchase of Musa product matters. Your patronising of this local product and wearing our tribe not just creates a smile on the faces of the persons deprived of liberty and indigenous communities of Davao del Norte but also brings hope to their lives amidst their gloomy circumstances.
Let’s spread love and kindness. Let’s Care for Musa.