The Marker Post

The Sweet Future Of Fashion – Pineapple Leather.

These cream retro handbags above are made with a pineapple-based “leather” called Piñatex, manufactured from the leaves of a pineapple plant .

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.53.29 am

Carmen Hijosa, a Spanish leather goods designer, developed the tropical textile after working as a consultant in the Philippines. In search of an alternative for leather, she came across the Barong Tagalog, a formal garment normally worn by Filipino men and made with the fibers of pineapple leaves.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.53.47 am

Its fabric was both fine and strong — a perfect combination for designing the perfect leather product. That’s when the idea for Piñatex was born.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.53.58 am

Pineapple-based leather is difficult to make, but since it’s a by-product of existing pineapple harvests, its environmental impact is relatively low.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.54.08 am

“This really means that in order to [make] Piñatex, a textile, we don’t have to use any land, water, pesticides [or] fertilizers,” Hijosa told Fast Co. “We are actually taking a waste material and ‘upscaling’ it, meaning that we’re giving it added value.”

And since the faux-leather textile is strikingly similar to the real thing, it gives any of its finished products a classically cool look without all the guilt.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.54.46 am

Ananas Anam, Hijosa works with Filipino plantation farmers to extract the fibers from pineapple leaves, which were left on the floor to rot before after the fruit is harvested. These  fibers are then sent to a textile factory to be mechanically and chemically fused together, similar to the way felt is made, and turned into a non-woven fabric.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.54.19 am

The finished fabric is sold in bulk to other clothing or designer brands in four wardrobe-friendly colors: charcoal, natural (cream), brown and metallic gold.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.54.36 am

While big brands like Puma and Camper have created prototypes of their own designs with the pineapple-based textile, international companies are already selling a variety of products including handbags, boots, flats and laptop carriers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *