Pineapple Leather: Piñatex is the Alternative to Leather

Pineapples are not only yummy to eat! Dr Carmen Hijosa has developed a natural leather alternative made from cellulose fibres extracted from pineapple. This pineapple leather is called Piñatex and it is used to create sustainable pieces of clothing and unique accessories such as Piñatex shoes and Piñatex bags. Keep reading to discover how to make pineapple leather and where to buy Piñatex products.

The Pineapple Leather

Dr Hijosa have drawn inspiration by the barong tagalog, a traditional Philippine garment worn untucked over an undershirt and made of pineapple fibers. Consequently, she spent eight years of her life developing this sustainable textile material that represents an alternative to leather. After that, she founded her own company in the UK called Ananas Anam which manufactures and distributes Piñatex.

How to make Pineapple Leather?

In order to create this material, the farmers who work in the Philippines plantations extract the fibres from pineapple leaves. The pineapple industry globally produces 40,000 tonnes of waste pineapple leaves each year. Ordinarily, the leaves are left to rot or they are burned after the fruit is harvested, but Piñatex repurposes them to make leather. Around 480 leaves (the waste from 16 pineapple plants) are necessary to create 1 square metre of material. In other words, the fabric is entirely made from agricultural waste, without using additional water, pesticides or fertilizers. Above all, it avoids the use of toxic chemicals and heavy metals used in animal leather production.

As a result of the good job done by Dr Hijosa, the company won the Arts Foundation UK award for Material Innovation. Furthermore, In 2015 Piñatex was the first fabric to receive a “PETA-Approved Vegan” logo for supplying compassionate designers and shops with a sustainable, high-performance vegan leather.

Where to buy Piñatex?

After describing what Piñatex is and its manufacturing process, it could be useful to know which vegan brands sell the pineapple leather.

Piñatex Shoes

Bourgeois Boheme is one of the most established vegan footwear brands and it sells some models in pineapple leather. Therefore, this brand offers a wide variety of Piñatex shoes: Sandals, heels, trainers and boots. They also have a men’s collection.

Pink and White Pineapple leather shoes
Source: Bourgeois Boheme

Also the Portuguese footwear brand Nae decided to sell Piñatex shoes. This company is famous for its vegan philosophy and concerned with environmental sustainability. Therefore, they produce only in certified factories in Portugal with respect for employees and without use of any products of animal origin or damage to the environment. The main focus of the company is the production of sneakers that are long lasting and comfortable.

White Pineapple leather Sneakers
Source: Nae

Piñatex Straps

Piñatex is not only used to make shoes, but also to create stylish and unique accessories. In fact, the British company Votch uses the pineapple leather to produce watch straps for men and women. In their website it is possible to find a whole collection in Piñatex.

Black and White Pineapple Leather Straps
Source: Votch

Piñatex Bags

Next, Hipsters for sisters is a vegan brand that sells bags and it also has a whole a Piñatex collection. They also use this fabric to produce their belt bags, that are one of the trends of this year.

Pineapple leather Belt Bag
Source: Hipsters for Sisters

Furthermore, the French brand called Camille offers several models made of pineapple leather. Many models are in gold colour, perhaps just to celebrate the beauty of the fruit and that lively yellow typical of pineapple.

Black and Gold pineapple leather bag
Source: Camille

Piñatex bracelets, belts and wallets

Lastly, VElove promotes vegan lifestyle through its simple and feminine products. This brand creates bracelets, belts and wallets in pineapple leather. The bracelets are definitely the centrepiece of their collection, they are adorable.

White bracelet in pineapple leather
Source: VElove

In conclusion, these are just some of the many vegan fashion brands where to buy Piñatex products. This could mean that the demand for a non-harmful leather is increasingly spreading. Hopefully, one day even the big fashion brands will no longer use the real leather. After all, also Hugo Boss launched a collection of  Piñatex shoes. So, have you ever heard of this innovative material? have you ever bought something in Piñatex? Remember, it’s never too late to try it!

If you are interested to know more about vegan leathers, you should definitely read our article Faux Leather.

Written by Sabrina Licata