Press Kit

Green Banana Paper is an exciting social impact company from one of the most remote islands in the world, Kosrae, Micronesia.  We create sustainable and ethical vegan wallets and handmade papers from recycled banana trees.  We are available for follow-up, interview and further questions.  Contact us at info@greenbananapaper.com, or send a message here.

Company Overview

Name Green Banana Paper
Address PO Box 1013, Kosrae, FM 96944
Country Federated States of Micronesia
Website GreenBananaPaper.com
Facebook facebook.com/greenbananapaper
Instagram instagram.com/greenbananapaper
Twitter twitter.com/MadeInKosrae
Email info@greenbananapaper.com
Phone +691 370 6772 

Social Impact

We are creating a great opportunity for subsistence farmers to earn extra income from unwanted banana tree trunks.  At our sustainable small-scale factory, our goal is to directly employ and train as many local artisans as we can.  With 25 staff as of May 2019, we are one of the biggest private companies on the island.

We do our best to provide a comfortable, safe and professional work environment.  Staff have flexible 1-hour lunch breaks where they relax and eat together by the beach or in our thatch-roofed rest house.  We do safety training for all new employees, with a fully-stocked first aid kit and fire extinguishers at hand.  Fresh drinking water is available and electric fans are provided for everyone.  Our factory has good lighting, safe electricity, and clean bathrooms as well.  We pay our staff two to five times the minimum wage as we want our employees to have savings and not just a living wage.  We also try to be flexible for the constant cultural and family obligations of our staff.  Company policies are posted in the factory for personal leave, sick leave, employee discounts, expectations, safety and privacy. 

Downloadable .jpg photos of our Staff  (Click or Right Click - Save Link As...)

New Jobs Created: 25

Local Farmers Earning New Income:  100+


Environmental Impact

Our mission is to utilize only our most sustainable and abundant local resources to be a leading example of responsible economic development that does not cause harm to the environment.

The factory was designed to use the natural elements of the island to create an enjoyable and eco-friendly work environment. The trade winds gently dry fibers; the roof catches rainwater stored in catchment tanks; fallen coconuts are burned for boiling fibers; a gray-water system neutralizes the pH of the water after washing the fibers; the papers are sun-dried and stored in simple presses before a creative team makes the finished products.

Materials:  500,000lbs (226,000kg) of discarded banana trees have been recycled.  The wallets are 99% organic and biodegradable.  Read more about our material here.

Waste:  Green Banana Paper is striving toward a closed loop manufacturing process. The waste from the banana trees is put into a compost pile until it decomposes enough to fertilize our small fruit farm.  Off-cuts and paper scraps are recycled and transformed back into the original fibers with almost zero waste.

Small trash items from our factory such as tape, old brushes, empty ink bottles, etc. are brought to the municipal dump operated by our State government each Friday.  We make a point to emphasize environmental awareness and stewardship by keeping a clean factory and discussing the impact of plastics and others.

Energy:  We use the sun and wind to dry fibers and papers, fallen coconuts to fuel the fire in the boiling process, and the laws of physics as much as possible.  We have four small electric motors powering our extractor and beaters which consume minimal energy from our State's power grid which is powered by a combination of 30% solar and 70% diesel generators.

Chemicals:  In papermaking, it is essential to boil the fibers in an alkaline solution with a pH of 10-11 in order to de-lignify the cellulose and create strong, long-lasting, archival quality papers.  This requires the use of NaCo2 also known as Soda Ash, which we import.  We built a special grey-water system to ensure that the leftover water from this process slowly re-enters the ground. Our factory is built over sandy/coral ground which is naturally pH 10-11 and not used for growing food.

To decorate our wallets and papers, we use water-based acrylic ink which adheres wonderfully to the paper and doesn't cause harm to the environment during clean-up.  Additionally, to assemble our wallets we use industrial sewing machines for strong, long-lasting products.  In stark contrast with the leather industry, these are the only chemicals used in our entire process.  

 

Founder

Matt Simpson, a New London, CT native, moved to Micronesia as a volunteer teacher in 2007 and never left.  A keen surfer, Matt wanted to do something to give back to his community that had given him a life he could have only dreamed of.  Matt began Green Banana Paper after seeing the lack of job opportunities for his graduating students, and the need for sustainable and exportable products from Micronesia.  Matt currently lives on Kosrae most of the year and likes to get off island to chase waves around the world.

Downloadable .jpg photos of Matt Simpson  (Click or Right Click - Save Link As...)


  

Green Banana Paper Timeline

July 2008
Matt Simpson moved to Kosrae to teach social studies as a volunteer with WorldTeach.
May 2012
Matt's first time to learn about banana fiber, hatching an idea that he would obsess over for the next 5 years.
May 2014
Leased land & built the factory designed to create ethical work conditions and environmental responsibility.  (1 staff)
November 2014
Began processing banana trees, taro stems and pineapple leaves for their fibers.  (3 staff)
February 2015
Started making paper for the first time.  Everything was learned from google, youtube, books and a lot of trial and error.  (5 staff)
October 2015
First wallet prototypes tested extensively, redesigned for durability.  Significant period of research and development. (10 staff) 
June 2016
We receive widespread media attention at the Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture on Guam.  (14 staff)
February 2017
First time we offer our products for sale online.  Launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise awareness.  (18 staff)
March 2017 Successfully raised 250% of our Kickstarter goal for Green Banana Paper Wallets.  (21 staff)
May 2017 Reinvested Kickstarter funds, purchased new equipment and hired 4 new staff.  (23 staff)
June 2017 Men's wallets launch on Amazon.com with Prime 2-day shipping  (24 staff)
August 2017 We attend the Pacific Ink & Arts Expo in Hawaii with new designs and products  (25 staff)
October 2017

Launched our 2nd Kickstarter campaign for the Green Banana Paper Slim Wallet design (25 staff)

December 2017

First large corporate order from the Bank of Guam.  Hosted our first intern who made improvements to our staff bios page, company policies, and factory certification process with World FairTrade, Vegan.org, and B-Corp.

March 2018 We attend the ASD MarketWeek in Las Vegas, USA.  Honored with Best in Show award for ASD SourceDirect.
May 2018 Invested in new papermaking equipment, laser cutter, and infrastructure for factory cleanliness, worker safety, and improvements in our digital design studio, printshop, papermaking, finished product, and gift shop areas.
June 2018 35 staff involved in fiber processing, order production, and construction of new apartment for interns and artists in residence.
August 2018 Hosted our second intern who helped develop prototypes and train our local staff to use our new laser cutter.
November 2018 Matt goes to Guam to speak at the University of Guam Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  
January 2019 Green Banana factory collaborates with Tao Pacific Designs to release the Circle Latte' series of wallets.
February 2019 Green Banana begins collaboration with multiple private label and corporate partners on Guam.
April 2019 Green Banana attends and produces nametags for the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability Conference.

 

Vegan Wallets

Material:    Banana fiber
Qualities:   Organic, Water-resistant, Tear-resistant, Industrially Sewn Seams
Environmental Impact:  Banana fiber is an eco-friendly material that is produced from recycled banana trees from subsistence farmers on Kosrae.  We care deeply for the environment and have ensured the sustainability of our natural resources in harvest, production and end product.   (Biodegradable, Cruelty-Free, Tree-Free, Vegan, No Chemicals)
Social Impact:  The raw materials are purchased from over 100 local farmers in the community - providing a new way to earn extra income.  Making wallets from banana trees is labor intensive.  The making of each wallet involves 12 or more people.  By purchasing our wallets, our customers are helping provide creative and fulfilling work to members of our community.  

Downloadable .jpg product photos  (Click to view or Right Click -> Save Link As...)

Bifold Wallets Green Banana Paper Vegan Bifold Wallet Natural Green Banana Paper Vegan Bifold Wallet Guam Green Banana Paper Vegan Bifold Wallet Castaway Green Banana Paper Vegan Bifold Wallet Tribal Sun
Green Banana Paper Vegan Bifold Wallet Natural Green Banana Paper Vegan Bifold Wallet Guam Green Banana Paper Vegan Bifold Wallet Castaway Green Banana Paper Vegan Bifold Wallet Tribal Sun
Green Banana Paper Vegan Bifold Wallet Natural Green Banana Paper Vegan Bifold Wallet Guam Green Banana Paper Vegan Bifold Wallet Castaway Green Banana Paper Vegan Bifold Wallet Tribal Sun
Clutch Wallets Green Banana Paper Vegan Clutch Wallet Natural Green Banana Paper Vegan Clutch Wallet Plumeria Green Banana Paper Vegan Clutch Wallet Tribal Sun
Green Banana Paper Vegan Clutch Wallet Natural Green Banana Paper Vegan Clutch Wallet Guam Green Banana Paper Vegan Clutch Wallet Plumeria Green Banana Paper Vegan Clutch Wallet Tribal Sun
Green Banana Paper Vegan Clutch Wallet Natural Green Banana Paper Vegan Clutch Wallet Guam Green Banana Paper Vegan Clutch Wallet Plumeria Green Banana Paper Vegan Clutch Wallet Tribal Sun
Passport Wallets Green Banana Paper Vegan Passport Wallet Natural Green Banana Paper Vegan Passport Wallet Guam Green Banana Paper Vegan Passport Wallet Green Banana Paper Vegan Passport Wallet
Green Banana Paper Vegan Passport Wallet Natural Green Banana Paper Vegan Passport Wallet Guam Green Banana Paper Vegan Passport Wallet Natural Green Banana Paper Vegan Passport Wallet Guam
Slim Wallet Green Banana Paper Vegan Slim Wallet Natural Green Banana Paper Vegan Slim Wallet Natural Green Banana Paper Vegan Slim Wallet Natural Green Banana Paper Vegan Wallets Display Rack Natural

   

Media Assets

Logo Files for DARK Backgrounds | Click each logo for full-size .png file

Green Banana Paper Landscape Logo for Dark Backgrounds Green Banana Paper Portrait Logo for DARK Backgrounds Green Banana Paper Icon for DARK Backgrounds

Logo Files for LIGHT Backgrounds | Click each logo for full-size .png file

Green Banana Paper Landscape Logo for LIGHT Backgrounds Green Banana Paper Portrait Logo for LIGHT Backgrounds Green Banana Paper Icon for LIGHT Backgrounds

HD Video Content | Embeddable YouTube Links

*Note: If you would like to be sent the video files for original edits, please contact us.

"This leather-like slim wallet is actually made from banana tree fibers"

Slim Wallet Kickstarter Video (1:38)

"How to make a wallet from a banana tree"

Highlighting the process and staff. (2:56)

"The ideal 43 second trip to Kosrae"

A feel good promo/teaser video. (0:43)

"How to make a Paper Wallet at home"

Easy origami, arts & crafts project (3:15)

"Wallets you'll go bananas for"

Green Banana Paper Kickstarter Video (3:38)

 

 

 

Infographics & Other Media | Embeddable Images

Downloadable full infographic .jpg photos  (Click to view or Right Click -> Save Link As...)

*Note: If you would like to be sent the files for original edits, please contact us.

 

Sustainable Manufacturing

 

 

 

 

 

Links to Recent Blog Posts by Green Banana Paper

Links to Past Media Mentions

 

Downloadable Sample Articles

The below sample articles are editable documents permitted for publication purposes effective as of January 20th, 2017.

 

Targeted / Key Audiences

  • Global Ethical Consumers (Vegan & Zero Waste)

    Whether it's our social impact or our cruelty-free and eco-friendly products, ethically minded consumers will love Green Banana Paper.  Our story speaks to vegans, environmentalists and social activists by taking a more responsible approach to the products we buy and use. We are provisional members of World FairTrade, B-Corp and members of Vegan.org, Goodmarket and more.

  • Proud Pacific Islanders

    We’re a true Pacific company, and we get widespread support from island people who recognize our sustainability and social impact immediately. A Green Banana Paper wallet makes a perfect gift or piece of memorabilia that supports local livelihoods and promotes the natural resources of Micronesia and the broader Pacific.  Our business concept can be replicated across the world wherever 

  • Eco-Luxe Tourists

    Micronesia is one of those places on everybody's bucket list but few people actually go.  Our story will stand out for those wanting to remember their trip, and our unique designs and packaging will make a mark in the eco-luxury market.  Our products can be private labeled for resort boutique shops and provide interesting souvenirs in a world of mass-manufactured Chinese goods being passed off as local products.