Pioneering Pineapple: A Leather Alternative

When life gives you pineapples make… a sustainable leather alternative!

For anyone who is concerned by the environmental and ethical issues associated with the leather industry, Piñatex™ could be the answer. Founded by Dr Carmen Hijosa in 2013, Ananas Anam manufactures the textile Piñatex™ using pineapple waste in the Phillipines.

The breakthrough came when Hijosa visited the Philippines to learn about the leather industry there. During her trip she realised that the fibres found in pineapple leaves could be used to make a non-woven textile. Since the leaves are a by-product from the pineapple harvest, the end result is a sustainable textile that uses no extra water or land whilst providing an additional income for farmers.

The images below show the innovative manufacturing process behind the production of Piñatex™ in the Phillipines.

pinatex-is-made-using-pineapple-leaves
Piñatex™ is made using pineapple leaves, a by product of the pineapple harvest (photo credit: Ananas Anam)
fibres-are-extracted-from-the-leaves
Fibres are extracted from the leaves in a process called decortication (photo credit: Ananas Anam)
farmers-hang-the-fibres-to-dry
Farmers hang the fibres to dry in the sun (photo credit: Ananas Anam)
the-fibres-become-a-non-woven-textile
The fibres become a non-woven textile after undergoing an industrial process (photo credit: Ananas Anam)

The final step takes place at a textile finishing company in Spain before the material is sold to companies all over the world for the making of shoes, bags and furnishings.

The stylish back pack below is an example of a product made by Smith Matthias using Piñatex™ – I can’t wait to get my hands on one!

smith-matthias-bag-made-using-pinatex
Smith Matthias designed this bag using Piñatex™ (photo credit: Smith Matthias)

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