Pineapple leather is the best choice to replace animal leather to make bags

  Pineapple leather, also known as Piñatex, is not produced from animal hide. Unlike other forms of faux leather, this new material has proven to have comparable properties to real leather such as being a breathable, flexible and highly durable material. It is an innovative and sustainable material made from pineapple leaves making it a great natural and environmentally friendly alternative to real leather. In this article we will talk about the inspiring story behind the discovery of this new material, explain how Piñatex is made and discuss some of the benefits of this new material.

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The Discovery Of Pineapple Leather
Pineapple leather was created by Dr Carmen Hijosa. Carmen’s journey began in Spain, but her career has taken her across the globe, from Ireland to Germany, to the UK and The Philippines. She worked in both the design and manufacture of leather goods for many years before going to the Philippines to carry out further research into the development of products made from natural fibres.

A breakthrough came when she realized that she could make a non-woven textile, a fabric bonded together without knitting or weaving, from the long fibres found in pineapple leaves. The culmination of her work resulted in the creation of pineapple leather, a unique natural and sustainable textile made from pineapple leaf fibres, a by-product from the pineapple harvest.

While you are reading these lines, Carmen Hijosa and her team are working in London. On the other side of the globe, the Filipino farmers are extracting the fibres from the pineapple leaves. The fibres are then sent to a textile finishing company in Spain where the transformation from a fiber mesh into pineapple leather takes place.

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How Is Pineapple Leather Made?
Pineapple farmers in the Philippines, and soon enough in other pineapple growing countries as well, harvest the leaves that surround a pineapple and extract the fibers from the leaves. These fibers are then made into a mesh which gets sent to nearby textile factories where they are mechanically and chemically fused together to make the final product, a non-woven durable and flexible textile.

The Social Impact Of Pineapple Leather
Pineapple leather not only looks and feels great, it is also providing massive benefits to farming communities in the Philippines and is an environmentally friendly textile. In fact, Piñatex is the first fabric ever to be given a PETA Approved Vegan logo.

Helping Local Farmers
Pineapple farmers in the Philippines, who tend to be in a lower income class in most countries, now have a new source of income. The best part is, they don’t even have to do much extra work for it. Since they are already growing pineapples, the leaves required to make Piñatex is already at their disposal. All they have to do is harvest the leaves which would normally be left to rot after the pineapple harvest is done.

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Pineapple Leather Is Environmentally Friendly
The greatest benefit of this amazing new material is the positive environmental impact it has. Because it is using the leaves from pineapples, no additional land, water, fertilizer or pesticides need to be used in it’s production. It is taking what is normally considered a waste product and turning it into a valuable material.

Furthermore, the byproduct produced from extracting the fibers from the pineapple leaves is a natural fertilizer which farmers can use to grow more pineapples.

Pineapple Leather Uses
With leather becoming more scarce and expensive, there is an enormous opening in the market for alternative materials, which to date have been partially filled by plastics and technical textiles. The arrival of a suitable material of natural origins such as pineapple leather is likely to be a welcome addition in this growing market segment.

Piñatex is a mass-produced sustainable and versatile textile oriented to the following industrial sectors: clothes, shoes, bags, etc.

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