Innovative Leather: Banana Peels


Sarah Kim Harbarth is a young designer from Switzerland, the creator of a new innovative material called KUORI. KUORI aims to develop a flexible, biobased, and biodegradable material for shoe outsoles using organic waste products such as banana peels or nutshells.

Creating the concept according to cradle-to-cradle principles drives the transition to a circular economy to move from conventional, linear methods toward long-term sustainable solutions.


“KUORI is a classic materials research project that aims to upcycle an organic waste product. The very carefully conducted research convinces with its clear approach and, above all, with promising results that impressively demonstrate the potential of banana peels. The fact that this development work is now being courageously continued and deepened is a good sign.”



Sarah’s research with KUORI aims to provide sustainable materials for sustainable products manufactured in a recyclable way, save our resources, and avoid the accumulation of waste. KUORI also stands for a young, motivated team full of drive.

They combine their interdisciplinary competencies to reduce the environmental footprint of every step we take. By designing a biodegradable shoe outsole, we can solve the problem of microplastics rubbed off into nature while walking and eliminate non-recyclable waste from discarded soles. Currently, they are in the middle of their research process and are turning their vision into reality.