Pinatex – material made from pineapple leaves

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Pinatex – material made from pineapple leaves
Eco lookTrends & fashion

Clothes and accessories made of animal skin are not for you? Are you looking for a healthier and more environmentally friendly alternative? Meet pinatex, a revolutionary material created from pineapple leaves. Interestingly, it is deceptively similar to real leather. Below you will find the necessary information about it. Check it out!

Pinatex – a brief history of the fruity material

Pinatex is the equivalent of animal skin extracted from pineapple – but not from the fruit, but from the leaves. To be more precise, it is made from leaves that rot on the ground after harvesting. Neither human labor, nor fertilizers, nor additional water are needed. Everything takes place naturally.

Where did pinatex come from? In the 1990s, Spanish doctor Carmen Hijosa, an expert in leather production, worked in the Philippines as an export consultant. However, she wasn’t thrilled with the quality of the products there, so she started looking for something better, organic. She was inspired by Southeast Asian resources and the craftsmanship there. She wanted to find a raw material that was environmentally friendly, but also supported the local community. And that’s how she managed to find pineapple leaves, which are simply an unnecessary discard in fruit production. 

Seven years of experimentation culminated in success. Pinatex, a non-woven material made from cellulose fibers derived from pineapple leaves, was created. Commercial production began in 2013, and on a global scale from 2019.

Properties of pineapple leaf leather

Pineapple leather is very smooth and extremely durable – it is difficult to tear or abrade. It does not absorb water and is resistant to mold growth. In addition, nothing prevents you from dyeing it in the color of your choice or decorating it with various patterns. You can also freely form it into interesting shapes, because it is soft and flexible. Moreover, its appearance is compared to the most luxurious animal skins.

Like any material, pinatex also has its drawbacks. It is not recommended to expose it to sunlight, because it can lose its color and smoothness. It dries out over time and has a fairly low level of breathability, so we can quickly get hot in a pineapple dress.

Uses of pinatex, or what can be made of it?

Finally, we are left with a brief discussion of what can actually be made from this “skin”. First of all, it is widely used in fashion – designer jackets, vests, shoes, belts, watches and handbags are just the beginning. This type of clothing and accessories can be found in brands such as Puma, Apple, Hugo Boss, Bohema Clothing, Maria Aneett, Alicja Getka Lab and Aleksandra K, among others. 

In addition, pinatex works well as furniture upholstery (for example, in the Polish brand Skos Modern) and for making aeronautical materials. To illustrate, we report that to make 1 m2 of pinatex we need 16 pineapples, which gives us about 480 leaves.

main photo: Supply Co.

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