The world's first sustainable leather alternative
Ananas Anam has developed Pinatex™, a new alternative to leather using natural fibres extracted from the waste leaves of pineapple plants. This material represents the first sustainable attractive alternative to leather and can be used for fashion bags, footwear and furnishings amongst other future applications.
The venture was founded by social entrepreneur and designer, Dr Carmen Hijosa, who has a strong track record in design and manufacture of luxury leather goods as co-founder and designer of Irish-based Chesneau Leather Goods, which exported globally to outlets including Harrods and Liberty in London. The development of Piñatex marks the culmination of five year’s research undertaken by Carmen for her PhD in Textiles from the RCA.
Piñatex was officially launched at a dedicated exhibition, The Pine-Apple Show at the RCA in December 2014 and featured work using Piñatex by a range of collaborators including Ally Capellino, Patricia Moore, John Jenkins, Smith & Matthias, and brands such as Puma and Camper.
Based on the agricultural by-product of pineapples, produced in abundance across the Philippines, Piñatex represents a major advance in sustainable textiles. Fibres can be extracted from the waste pineapples leaves by the farmers themselves. The fibres are then industrially processed into a non-woven mesh textile at a local factory in the Philippines to produce the basis of Piñatex, before being shipped to a finishing factory near Barcelona.
Ananas Anam has developed
‘roll-to-roll capabilities’, a feature that will help it achieve global
commercial viability. The irregular shape of leather hides can result in up to
25 per cent waste, however wastage for Piñatex is just five per cent.
Piñatex™ Creator and Founder of Ananas Anam Dr Carmen Hijosa is a winner of InnovateUK's Women in Innovation Awards 2016.