Cotton spinning firm Nisshinbo Industries Inc on said Wednesday it had developed the world's first apparel fibre from banana stalks.

The company said it had developed the fibre - a mixed yarn made from banana stalks and cotton - in conjunction with Nagoya City University Professor Hiroshi Morishima, leader of the Banana Green-Gold project.

Prof Morishima's project aims to turn the annual one billion tonnes of banana stems waste into environmentally friendly clothing for hard-up people living in banana-producing regions such as Africa.