Coconut, Banana, Hemp, Sisal


Made in

Bacteria 23 Biodegradable 233 Circular 218 Composite 99 Fibre 65 Paper 25 Plant-based 169 Recyclable 119 Vegan 88 Banana 2 Hemp 10 Sisal 3

Coconut, Banana, Hemp, Sisal

Photos: Zuzana Gombosova, Susmith Chempodil

Malai Biocomposite

Malai is a bio-composite material based on bacterial cellulose grown on water from mature coconuts and natural fibres from the Banana stem, hemp and sisal.

The research to develop this material was initiated in 2017 by Zuzana Gombosova - material researcher and designer from Slovakia and Susmith Chempodil - mechanical engineer and product designer from Kerala, India. The initial aim was to research the potential of bacterial cellulose grown on water from mature coconuts for a variety of applications keeping the material as ecologically friendly as possible. Water from mature coconuts is a waste agricultural product of local coconut processing units, a small unit disposes up to 4000 litres per day. Today Malai is running a small manufacturing unit in South India with a capacity of 200 square meters per month and supplies the materials to brands, designers and manufacturers of fashion accessories in India and abroad. Malai as a material is made without the addition of any oil-based ingredients keeping the material compostable.

Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.


Bacterial cellulose, banana stem fibre, hemp fibre, sisal fibre

Physical samples

0044-1, 0044-10, 0044-11, 0044-12, 0044-13, 0044-2, 0044-3, 0044-4, 0044-5, 0044-6, 0044-7, 0044-8, 0044-9
Accessible to visitors of the Future Materials Lab