Piñatex is a newly developed material made out of pineapple leaves. The leaves can be processed in different ways, turning it into different types of textiles, including leather or felt-like textiles! This is already awesome, but it gets even better when you consider that pineapple leaves are a by-product from the pineapple harvest process. This means that the leaves are already there, so no additional land has to be converted to grow the stuff.
Carmen Hijosa is the innovator of Piñatex and founder of Ananas Anam. She writes: ‘I went to the Philippines to look at their leather industry and noticed what amazing natural fibres they had. Leather goes through a very polluting process and I wanted to find a substitute that had a sustainable process with a positive impact on people and the environment.’ (RCA) She changed her career and is now developing the pineapple leaf material at the Royal College of Art in London. Hijosa describes the material as ‘breathable and soft, light and flexible, mouldable and easily dyed.’ (RI) It will be suitable for use in interiors, furnishings, fashion accessories, etc.
The website of Ananas Anam shows pictures of their current range:
Cool, right?! Bags, shoes and car seats out of Piñatex are already being developed. Here on the website of Ananas Anam you can see pictures of some sample products.
I just found out about Piñatex and I am thrilled! Innovations like this prove that there is so much to be discovered and developed, so that we can work our way towards more sustainability and animal friendliness. I am curious to how this ‘alternative to leather’ finds its way to the market and to us. What do you think?