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Piñatex Is A New Zero-Waste, Pineapple-Based Leather.

Sustainable Fashion

Piñatex Is A New Zero-Waste, Pineapple-Based Leather.

Who Made This Brilliant Discovery?

Leather expert Carmen Hijosa came upon the idea while visiting the Philippines to consult with the leather industry there. Observing a large waste of pineapple leaves, she realized the leaves had certain features that make it possible to turn them into a plant-based leather alternative.

Hijosa went back to school at the Royal College of Art in London, developed the material into a patented product and launched a manufacturing company of pineapple-based leather, called Piñatex.

Pinãtex pineapple leather-alternative shown on a roller | courtesy photo

It Doesn’t Harm The Environment

“It’s created from a byproduct of agriculture, meaning it’s a total waste product,” she says. “This really means that in order to have Piñatex we don’t have to use any land, water, pesticides, fertilizers … we are actually taking a waste material and ‘upscaling’ it, meaning that we’re giving it added value.”

It Doesn’t Harm Animals OR The Environment.

Leather typically involves hazardous chemicals such as formaldehyde and heavy tannery metals like chrome, which end up in wastewater.

But Piñatex is made from the pineapple leaves typically discarded as waste. Farmers separate the leaves string-like fibers which they use to produce the leathery textile, without using harmful chemicals.

Belgian-Lebanese designer Mayya Saliba made a handbag from the fabric, which also featured in the graduate exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art

It’s Good For The Economy

After farmers process the leaves they are left with a biomass that can be sold as fertilizer.

Accessories made from Piñatex

Pineapple Isn’t The Only Option

Other designers have experimented with everything from mushrooms to red algae powder in the search for more sustainable materials.

About The Author

Nichelle Cole is the founder & creative director of The Fashion Plate magazine. A respected writer, stylist and influencer, she has been published in fashion magazines around the world.

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