Piñatex: The product everyone should know about

When people think of pineapple they often think of tropical holidays, pizza and piña colada’s. But, what if I told you that when you think of pineapple you should be thinking handbags, shoes, car seats and couches?

Every so often an innovation really blows my mind. Like, really blows my mind. And Piñatex has been one of those innovations. It ticks all the right boxes – it’s cruelty-free, environmentally friendly, sustainable AND incredibly forward thinking. Tick, tick, tick and tick.

So what is Piñatex?

Piñatex is an amazing newly created alternative to leather and petroleum-based textiles. It is made using the extracted fibres from pineapple leaves which are a by-product (a genuine by-product, unlike leather) of pineapple harvesting. The leaves are usually left to rot on the ground by farmers, however with Piñatex they are repurposed and put through a process to create an incredibly durable material. The Piñatex process also creates a biomass which can be converted into a natural fertiliser and given back to the very farmers where the pineapple leaves came from. Mind. Blown.

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Piñatex was created by a forward-thinking woman by the name of Carmen Hijosa. Carmen came up with the idea while she was working as a consultant in the Philippines leather goods industry in the 1990s. Overall, she was unimpressed with the quality of the goods being produced with leather and started to seek out an alternative and it was the strength and fineness of the pineapple leaf fibres that spurred her thinking and creativity. As a brilliant consequence, Piñatex was born.

With a similar appearance to canvas, Piñatex can be died, stretched, printed and treated to give it a different texture and appearance. It closely resembles leather, but of course, it is a cruelty-free and an environmentally friendly alternative. It is also sustainable, has a strong sociological and ecological background and comes at a better price point per square metre than leather.

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Piñatex is yet to hit the market, but big brands are already climbing over themselves to get samples as the demand for sustainable options continues to rise. It won’t be long before we are seeing Piñatex being used to make a whole range of things such as shoes, bags and even furniture. Puma and Camper have already made prototypes using it and the Auto Interior of London have also succeeded in making a car seat from the 100% natural material.

Goods made from leather-alternative Pinatex, designed by Carmen Hijosa

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Be sure to keep your eyes out for this wonderful product.

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