Pineapple as the new leather? Meet Piñatex

It’s hard to deny the appeal of rustic, sophisticated-looking leather products, but some people prefer animal-friendly materials or don’t want to pay for genuine leather. If you’re interested in a sustainable plant-based alternative to leather, meet Piñatex. It’s a textile made from the pineapple leaf fiber that could revolutionize the fashion industry!

Pineapple plant on Atiu island, Cook Islands

The leather-like fiber Piñatex is made from the leaves of pineapple plants. (Pineapple plant on Atiu island, Cook Islands) Credit: Photo by Rustydfa/Getty

Piñatex: Innovative and Sustainable

Ananas Anam, Ltd, a textile company known in the fashion world for innovative and sustainable products, tells the story of Piñatex on their website. The company’s founder, Dr. Carmen Hijosa, discovered unique qualities in the long, sturdy fibers of pineapple leaves while researching in the Philippines.

Since then, Ananas Anam has been exploring exciting possibilities for fabric application with their trademarked product Piñatex. Because pineapple leaves are by-products of the fruit’s harvest, raw materials for Piñatex require no extra land, water, or fertilizer. According to a March 2016 WIRED article, it takes about 16 pineapples to make one square meter, or 10.76 square feet, of the textile. It has the potential to bring new industry and prosperity to countries that grow pineapple.

If a sleek, classy leather textile item catches your eye in the future, you may wonder, “Is it animal or pineapple?”

—Jenna

Featured Image: Piñatex


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