HOW 'PINEAPPLE LEATHER' PIONEERED AS AN ALTERNATIVE LEATHER
The epitome of accumulation in terms of sustainable textiles lays within finding newer resources in what is usually called ‘waste’. ‘Pineapple Leather’ is a fresh and fairly ‘new’ addition to the market of ethical- and cruelty-free textiles and leathers. To say that we are intrigued by this new textile doesn’t do our level of interest justice. Therefore, let’s move on to some more details about this intriguing textile.
SOME facts about the so-called ‘pineapple leather’:
Even though the name of this textile is usually known as ‘pineapple leather’, as it is marketed with this name by several companies, it’s actual name is ‘Piñatex’. However, founder and creator of Piñatex Dr Carmen Hijosa emphasizes: ‘I would not call Piñatex a ‘pineapple leather’, as it does not come from an animal. As such, it is quite the opposite of what we know as leather’.
Piñatex is an innovative plant-based textile, made from the waste of the pineapple harvest. To be quite precise, it is made from the fibre of a pineapple leaf.
It’s commercial launch was way back in 2015. Since then it has been used by over more than 500 manufacturers worldwide, such as Ground Cover by Avery Ginsberg and Hugo Boss.
At this very moment, Piñatex is not fully sustainable, as a part of the process in creating the leather is done mechanically. However, Hijosa is currently working on a biodegradable formula, to make the Piñatex 100% sustainable. But for now, by using the least amount of mechanical- and chemical processes, water usage and chemical waste is reduced.
There needs to be at least the fibres of 16 pineapple’s to create one square metre of Piñatex.
Compromising to the standards of animal leather and maintaining the traditional softness of leather, Piñatex has passed the ISO international textile testing standards. Hence it has passed the necessary tests to be used within the fashion- and upholstery industries. Specifically tested were the ‘tear and tensile strength’, ‘flexing endurance’, ‘seam rupture’, ‘finish adhesion’ and the ‘color fastness’.
Dr Hijosa firstly discovered pineapple fibres back in the late 90’s, when she was in the Philippines to update the fashion experts on the leather market. Instead she found out about the product which has led her to the finished product which is seen on the market these days.
In conclusion, Piñatex is the next best alternative for animal leather. This is well known globally, since Piñatex seems to sell out insanely quickly. No wonder, who doesn’t want to work with such high-tech and versatile ‘leather’?
Kudo’s to Dr Carmen Hijosa, we and probably all supporters of sustainability and environmental causes envy you!
By Kevin Vergeer