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Pineapple Leather - We Are Sold!

While perusing the Internet one lovely evening, I came across an article about a new leather alternative that was made from PINEAPPLES. I was immediately intrigued. I am not a fan of traditional leather, and avoid it whenever possible. I am also an avid pineapple lover, and it is no secret that the Bahamas' major producer of the fruit, Eleuthera, was the inspiration for PinkSands 242.

I had to learn more about this sustainable and earth friendly company that produces beautiful fashion pieces.

Pinatex is a durable, breathable, lightweight and sustainable material that doesn’t require the use of any additional land or resources to be produced. According to the company’s website, “Piñatex fibres are the by-product of the pineapple harvest. No extra land, water, fertilizers or pesticides are required to produce them.”

The Pinatex fibres are produced from pineapple leaves, and the end product is absolutely stunning. You can learn more about the process here.

I decided to reach out to their team to find out a bit more about this amazing and innovative leather alternative.

What inspired Pinatex? Did you have animal lovers in mind, or did you simple see the opportunity to repurpose the pineapple plant?

In late '90s, I was asked to go to the Philippines to update the leather fashion export markets - at the time I had a company in Ireland manufacturing leather goods.

However, when I arrived there and started to research into the leather manufacturing processes and see their ecological consequences, I started to look at what the country had that may give me the opportunity to develop an alternative to leather.

Pineapple leaf fibres, being very fine, strong but flexible, seemed to be a good alternative - This quest, going from a thought to a new material has taken me to London, and to Royal College of Art to do R&D for 6 years through a PhD, which has culminated in Piñatex.

Thanks to my research and the ethical views behind Piñatex, a new and sustainable material was created. Piñatex represents a sustainable solution in the face of today’s social and sustainable dilemmas.

Where can Pinatex products we purchased?

You will be able to purchase products very shortly through stores and websites of the brands which created products made of Piñatex. The products will be in the market for S/S 2016. Follow our website for more news! We will be talking about the different products as they come to market.

Do you currently have any charitable initiatives?

As a company that takes care of its social and ecological responsibilities, it is an intrinsic part of our process. We control the full supply chain, starting by working with pineapple farming cooperatives in the Philippines.

We have done studies on life cycle and we are in direct contact with all the stakeholders of the life cycle of Pinatex.

Piñatex does not need any land, nor does it use any water, fertilizers or pesticides, as it is a waste from the pineapple harvest, This is quite unique in the textile world, especially when we consider that pineapple is the second most popular fruit in the world, and without having to plant any extra, we have an abundant source of raw material to manufacture Piñatex.

Following the Cradle to Cradle philosophy, Piñatex represents much more than a new material, it also involves a societal and civilizational change. Ananas Anam offers the opportunity to empower pineapple communities throughout the world by making them and to make them more self-reliant and sustainable, as the harvesting of the fibres gives them an added income, with extra potential to use the bio-mass left from the extraction of the fibres and convert it into organic fertilizer or bio-fuel.

Today we can say that the farming communities we are working with are already employing more people land training more to extract the fibres – The social impact of Piñatex is already felt by the farmers in the Philippines!

Pinksands242 would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to the Pinatex team for being gracious enough to answer our questions. We are looking forward to rocking one of their products, very soon, on our travels.

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