Pineapple leather - How did the idea come about?

Pineapple leaves are the new vegan alternative to leather. For many years the Spanish designer Carmen Hijosa has been developed her natural leather that consists solely of pineapple leaves. Before her discovery she had worked in the leather industry in various countries. In 2009 when she discovered the pineapple leaves in the Philippines that were left over during the harvest, the idea came up to use them for the leather production. The designer developed a process with which the stable leaf fibers can be used to produce an equivalent substitute for animal leather. And so her environmental and animal-friendly response to (synthetic) leather was created: Piñatex.
We are impressed by the idea that her invention for the fashion and textile industry offers numerous new possibilities. Piñatex (Piña is Spanish for pineapple) was developed by the inventor Hijosa and her team within seven years at the Royal College of Art in London. Today, the new material is similarly robust as leather, but furthermore it is much cheaper, more environmentally friendly and animal-friendly as well as more sustainable than animal leather. Since 2014 the British start-up "Ananas-Anam" has been offering a wide range of products from shoes to handbags made from Piñatex.

Preserve the environment with "leather" made from pineapples

Pineapple leather solves a huge problem, since neither nature nor animals need to suffer for the production of the material. Moreover, the manufacturing process of the vegetable leather is enormously environmentally friendly. While the production of conventional products such as artificial leather requires toxic fossil fuels such as petroleum that flow into the rivers and into the sea with every wash, the production of the Piñatex is free of harmful chemicals and economizes natural resources. Animal and artificial leather are extremely non-environmentally and animal-friendly.
PETA reports that 55,000 liters of water must be used for a ton of animal skin. Based on the annual consumption of leather in the textile and fashion sector, there is already an enormous potential for savings solely in Germany, especially when you consider that Germany is the third largest leather producer in Europe after Italy and Spain.

From the Plantation to the handbag MADE FROM pineapple leather

But what actually happens to the farmers' pineapple leaves? The leaves of the pineapples that are used are the by-product of the pineapple harvest of Filipino farmers. Those are then taken to a textile factory in Barcelona and are processed into this leather alternative. Waste products such as biomass can even be used as fertilizer or biogas.
If you would like to have more detailed information about the manufacturing process, you can get more insights on the website of the start-up Ananas Anam .

By processing a waste product of the harvest, a new source of income for the farmers in the Philippines was given and for the start-up "Ananas Anam" a possibility was provided to counter the (synthetic) leather production even more by producing various alternative products.

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