Sustainable Material From Pineapples Turns Waste Product Into Leather

Population growth brings a lot questions with it. One of them is how to source the fiber used to make clothing. The key here is to focus on reusing natural byproducts since existing textiles will not be able to satisfy the increasing demand in quality and quantity. With this in mind, founder of Ananas Anam Dr. Carmen Hijosa, created Piñatex, an innovative new textile derived from pineapple leaf fiber.

After working in the leather industry for a long time, she realized that leather wasn’t a sustainable product and its production came with an impressive amount of waste. Originated in the Philippines, the fibers that make up Piñatex are a byproduct of the pineapple harvest. Extracted from leaves that are then put through an industrial process, the unique textile is the resulting product. No extra land or water are required to produce it. It also creates a new industry for pineapple-growing countries and provides additional income for farmers. The final step takes place in Spain, where the product is finished before shipment. With a similar appearance to canvas, it can be dyed, printed, and with treatment can closely resemble leather.
It took around seven years to develop what is now a strong, mass-produced and sustainable textile that can be used in everything from bags, furniture, and in the car and aeronautic industries. Shoe companies like Puma and Camper have already made prototypes with the textile.

With designers looking into alternative materials like fish and eel skin, high-tech silk made of spiders, and sprayable fabrics, it’s obvious that sustainable fashion is far from being a passing trend. Piñatex is just one of many initiatives that prove how resources can be used efficiently and that companies can make a positive social impact.

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