Pinatex - the leather alternative
After seven years of R&D, Piñatex was launched to the world in 2013 by the mastermind Carmen Hijosa. Piñatex offer’s the new sustainable ‘leather’ alternative and is quite possibly one of the coolest new fibres on the block. Ananas Anam Ltd manufactures Piñatex and sells it to companies to utilise as an alternative to leather when creating goods, so instead of one company owning the products, it’s a new way multiple companies can get amongst such an awesome product.
Piñatex itself is made from fine cellulose fibres within the pineapple leaves, which are then broken down into the fabric. As it is a by-product of the pineapple harvest itself – no extra land, water, fertilisers or chemicals are used to create it. In turn, Piñatex is an addition to the market that bridges the gap between leather and petroleum-based textiles (Yes, there are petroleum based clothing, and it’s highly likely you currently own a piece, more on that in future posts).
Piñatex was first tested and carried out in the Philippines and uses local plantations and factories there to separate the fibres, and felt together the piñatex to create a non-woven final product. What piñatex offers its farmers is an extra level of income in a recycling scheme for what is generally considered the waste of the plant that is generally left to rot or is burned.