Pineapple leather has landed [Photo: Instagram/Pinatex]
Pineapples are having a moment. Earlier this week we reported that it’s all about pineapples not pumpkins this Halloween, experts have long been waxing lyrical about the health benefits of the spiky fruit and they’ve become the must-have golden accessory du jour in the world of interior design. But now there’s another reason to love pineapples because a clever design company have used the leaves of the pineapple plant to create an animal-friendly alternative to leather.
The tropical textile is the brainchild of designer Carmen Hijosa who came across the product while researching alternatives to leather in the Philippines. She discovered the possibilities of pineapple fibre and partnered with local weavers to experiment with transforming it into a mesh-like material.
The fabric created was both fine and strong, making it the perfect combination as a leather alternative. And that’s when the idea for Piñatex was born.
The faux leather is almost as good as the real thing [Photo: Instagram/Pinatex]
The material uses fine fibres extracted from pineapple leaves – which are considered an agricultural by-product, often burned or left to rot. Through her start-up company Ananas Anam, Piñatex then takes these fibres and felts them together into a non-woven fabric that can be used for clothes, footwear or even furniture.
“We are actually taking a waste material and ‘upscaling’ it, meaning that we’re giving it added value,” Carmen Hijosa told Fast Co Exist earlier this year.
And since the material is strikingly similar to the real thing, you get the leather-look without any of the guilt. Winning.
The future looks sweet for faux-leather [Photo: Instagram/Pinatex]
Fruit meets fashion
The designer has spent the last five years developing Piñatex at the Royal College of Art and sample shoes have been made by Camper and Puma. Designer Ally Capellino has also made bags from it, while other international companies are also selling a variety of products from boots to laptop carriers.
The production of Piñatex involves no harming of animals, or for that matter pineapples, which means it’s a truly environmentally-friendly fashion choice that takes a waste product and turns it into super cute, super durable bags, shoes and more.
The products has been used in shoes, bags and even furniture [Photo: Instagram/Pinatex]
Unsurprisingly, this game-changing fashion innovation has not gone unnoticed. Earlier this year, London’s Royal College of Arts announced Carmen Hijosa as the winner of their 2016 Arts Foundation award for Material Innovation, while PETA UK also honoured the designer with an Innovation Award during their annual Fashion Awards in 2015.
And if the pieces that have dropped so far are anything to go by the future for pineapple-based fashion is looking pretty sweet. *groans*
Would you buy a bag made from pineapple leather? Let us know @YahooStyleUK