Piñatex: New Textile Turns Pineapple to Fashion

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A new textile is available as an alternative to leather, and it’s made from plants. Ananas Anam Ltd, founded in 2013, offers Piñatex, a material from pineapple leaf fibers.

Piñatex starts in the Philippines, where the by-products of pineapple harvest are gathered in order to process into a leather-like material. Because it begins life as a by-product, obtaining the material does not involve using additional resources, like water, or pollutants. Ananas Anam is dedicated to creating a sustainable product, as well as ethical sourcing. The business also benefits local farmers in the Philippines.

As a fabric that has the texture, look, and durability of leather, Piñatex has a versatile range of uses. Shoes, fashion items, interior design, and anything else that might be manufactured from leather could use this vegan alternative. Right now, Piñatex is available in natural colors (brown, black and white) and gold, but Ananas Anam anticipates further hues and thicknesses in the future. Piñatex’s softness makes it easy to cut and sew, rendering it useful for manufacturing. The company sells to manufacturers looking for a sustainable material to create their products; because Ananas Anam is still a relatively new company, they only sell to other businesses.

Piñatex saw its inception when Carmen Hijosa, CEO of Ananas Anam discovered that the fibers in pineapple leaves could become a bonded fabric through a chemical process. Hijosa had years of history working in the leather industry prior to creating her own vegan alternative. Now her company makes a truly international product, which goes from its natural origin in the Philippines, to Spain for processing, while Hijosa herself works from London.

Piñatex has garnered various awards and attentions, including the 2016 Award for Material Innovation from the Arts Foundation UK, and notice from fashion publications like Elle and Vogue. Within the next few years, vegan leather wearers might find more and more of their fashion is made from pineapple.

I'm a lover of words in all forms, sweatshirts in all conditions, and God in all circumstances. I particularly enjoy working collaboratively on the written word and wearing microfiber robes (preferably at the same time). Most of the time I don't get enough sleep, but I make a valiant effort.

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