Crafting Sustainability: The Banana Project at Happy Faces Foundation



In the green villages of Gujarat, like Dharsimel, Maninageshwar, and Karnali, big banana farms grow lots of bananas. After we eat the bananas, the strong stems of the plants are usually not used and left to become waste. But at Happy Faces Foundation, we do something different – we change these stems into something special. This is our Banana Project, and it’s about making things in a new way that helps nature and makes people stronger.


One Natural Material, Many Uses

The Happy Faces Foundation (HFF) have embarked on a unique journey to harness the untapped potential of banana stems. As part of our Zero Waste Initiative, we seek to maximize the utility of these discarded stems. The result? A trifecta of resources extracted from these plant parts: fibres, pulp, and sap. Through careful processing, these elements are converted into exquisite handmade products, each carrying a story of innovation and eco-consciousness.

Advantages of Banana Fibre

The versatile banana fibre has many benefits that contribute to its popularity:

  • Strength and Durability: The inherent strength of banana fibre makes it an ideal candidate for various applications.
  • Sustainability: Derived from a renewable resource, banana fibres align seamlessly with eco-friendly practices.
  • Lightweight: Despite its robust nature, banana fibre products retain a lightweight quality.
  • Biodegradable: In a world captivated by environmental concerns, the biodegradability of banana fibre is a notable advantage.
  • Water and Flame Resistance: Nature’s inherent qualities render banana fibre resistant to both water and flames, enhancing its utility.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Possessing a natural, rustic charm, banana fibre products radiate a unique beauty that draws attention.


Empowering Communities through Craftsmanship

One of the most remarkable facets of the Banana Project is its far-reaching impact on local communities. Situated around the Narmada’s banks, villages house tribal women who find an avenue of empowerment and financial independence through this initiative. Happy Faces Foundation provides essential equipment, training, and workshops, equipping these women with the skills to create an array of handmade wonders from the versatile banana fibres. This collaboration breathes life into age-old traditions while fostering sustainable livelihoods.


Banana Paper: Crafting Sustainability Beyond Fibres

As a byproduct of the banana stem processing, the Banana Paper Project emerges as a testament to innovation. The discarded pulp from the banana stem is repurposed to create natural fibre paper. Processed at the foundation’s paper unit in Karnali, Gujarat, this banana paper is a symbol of durability, with a shelf life extending beyond a century.



From Stems to Sheets: A Journey of Transformation

The creation of banana paper involves a meticulous sequence of steps:

1.Chopping: Long banana fibres are expertly chopped using a chopper machine.

2.Softening: The fibres are softened through a novel boiling technique in the boiler.

3.Pulp Formation: Residue from the fibres is neatly transformed into thin banana pulp sheets.

4.Pressing: Excessive moisture is pressed out from the sheets using a pressing machine.

5.Drying: The sheets are sun-dried for several hours, harnessing the power of natural elements.

6.Smoothening: Once fully dried, the sheets are smoothed and compressed using a calendaring machine.

7.Crafting: The final sheets are intricately cut and undergo finishing touches to transform them into remarkable handmade goods.

Sustainable Handicrafts for a Brighter Future

Happy Faces Foundation’s team of artisans in the Paper Value Edition section employs these banana papers to craft an array of sustainable and artistic creations. From vibrant diaries to eco-friendly stationery, these products embody a harmonious blend of innovation, tradition, and environmental consciousness.

The Banana Project stands as a living testament to how the simplest of resources, when thoughtfully harnessed, can foster transformational change. Through its sustainable practices, Happy Faces Foundation represents the power of human ingenuity in crafting a greener, brighter future for all.

Join us in celebrating this fusion of innovation and tradition, as we create handcrafted wonders that resonate with the essence of nature. Embrace the beauty of the Banana Project and the stories it weaves into each creation.


Visit to explore and purchase our range of handmade banana fibre products, to also support our journey towards a more sustainable future. 

You can also reach out to us on Instagram @happyfacesfoundation to place an order for your very own banana paper notebook.


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