With the textile industry ranking as one of the top greenhouse gas contributors in the world, insurmountable waste being added to landfills, global wildfires, and ever-emerging evidence of global warming progression, sustainable fashion is quickly becoming a hot topic in the fashion world—and it seems as though it hasn’t come quite soon enough. As a result, designers around the world are looking for new ways to manufacture, and are producing collections made from natural and recycled materials. One such material? Everyone’s favorite tropical fruit: the pineapple. Or rather, pineapple leaf fibers.
Developed by Dr. Carmen Hijosa of Ananas Aman, the natural vegan material Pinatex® is making waves in the textile industry for its similarity to leather without the detrimental environmental footprint. To make Pinatex®, pineapple fibers are separated from the leaves and turned into a non-woven, fleece-like material (480 leaves go into each square meter of finished material, wow!) that is then coated in natural polymers to make it durable enough for a variety of uses including clothing, accessories like watch straps, handbags, shoes, home furnishings and even automotive interiors. This gives life to previously discarded material and even the unused portions of the pineapple leaves are then turned into natural fertilizer and biofuel so that nothing is wasted.
This proprietary material is currently produced in the Philippines where pineapple fiber has been used to make textiles for over 400 years. Aside from fostering the production of more sustainable products, it also provides income and stability to local industry—both manufacturing and farming—in a developing country where it is made. Production of the material also empowers local women, who are heavily involved in its manufacture.
Pinatex® is 100% natural, has a unique and beautiful texture, and comes in a variety of colors, including metallics—and it meets all industry standards for manufacturing. Brands such as Maravilla Handbags, Time IV Change and even Puma are leading the change by incorporating this natural material into sustainable products, and others are taking notice. In fact, according to the Pinatex® Instagram, overwhelming interest in the material has led to unprecedented demand and most colors are currently unavailable, with hopes of being back in stock by Spring 2021. We can’t help but think that this is a great problem to have!
For more information on Pinatex®, visit https://www.ananas-anam.com/.