Piñatex is a natural, sustainably-sourced, cruelty-free material.
Piñatex is an innovative textile that was developed for use as a sustainable alternative to both mass-produced leather and polluting synthetic materials, offering a better choice for a better future. The leaves are the byproduct of existing agriculture, and their use creates an additional income stream for farming communities.
Piñatex was developed
over many years of R&D
by Dr. Carmen Hijosa.
Piñatex was developed over many years of R&D by Dr. Carmen Hijosa. The journey of Piñatex® began while Carmen, a leathergoods expert, was consulting on the Philippines leather export industry in the 1990’s. Shocked at the environmental impact of mass leather production and chemical tanning she realised this could not continue, but knew that PVC alternatives were not the solution. She was driven to research a sustainable alternative.
Inspired by the abundance of natural resources, including the use
of plant fibres in traditional weaving such as the delicate Barong Tagalog garments, Carmen sought to create a new, non-woven textile that could be commercially produced, provide positive social and economic impact and maintain a low environmental footprint throughout its life cycle.
From initial sampling to developing a viable supply chain, the Piñatex journey is inspired
by the principles of a Circular Economy and Cradle to Cradle values. The use of pineapple
leaf fibre, an agricultural waste product, provides the opportunity to build a scalable commercial
industry for developing farming communities, with minimal environmental impact.
Tanning is a complicated process, involving approximately 20 stages and 250 to halt decomposition, which are extremely damaging to both people and the environment. Synthetic alternatives such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride) are not the solution, as these are ecologically toxic to both produce and dispose of.
Piñatex addresses these issues as a sustainably sourced textile, made from a natural waste product, created low water use and low production waste, containing no harmful chemicals or animal products.
16 Pineapple plants
480 Pineapple leaves
1 square meter of Pinatex
The manufacturing process
Piñatex is made of ﬁbre from the waste leaves of the pineapple plant.
These leaves are a by-product from existing pineapple harvest, so the
raw material requires no additional environmental resources to produce.
After pineapple harvest, the suitable plant leaves
which are left behind are collected in bundles and the
long fibres are extracted using semi-automatic machines.
The fibres are washed then dried naturally by the
sun, or during the rainy season in drying ovens. The dry
fibres go through a purification process to remove any
impurities which results in a fluff-like material.
This fluff-like pineapple leaf fibre (PALF) gets mixed with
a corn based polylactic acid (PLA) and undergoes
a mechanical process to create Piñafelt, a non-woven
mesh which forms the base of all Piñatex collections.
The rolls of Piñafelt are then shipped by boat from the
Philippines to Spain or Italy for specialised finishing.
To make the Original, Pluma and Mineral collections,
the Piñafelt is coloured using GOTS certified pigments
and a resin top coating is applied to give additional
strength, durability and water resistance. A foil is heat
pressed on to create the Metallic collection and a high
solid PU transfer coating is used to create Piñatex
Performance. Piñatex is fit for use across fashion,
accessories & upholsteryand has been used by over
1000 brands worldwide.
Credits to Ananas Anam www.ananas-anam.com