Piñatex, the revolutionary new textile made out of pineapple fibre, provides the worlds first renewable alternative to leather. Dr Carmen Hijos, founder of Ananas Anam Ltd, spent 7 years developing a way to turn leaves from the tropical fruit into a sustainable non-woven textile. Hijos worked with the leather industry for many years, but whilst working in the Philippines, she came to realise that leather was not a sustainable product and left an excessive amount of wastage behind. Hijos then looked into what else the Philippines had to offer, and that’s when she found that many locally made products were made out of the fibres from the pineapple plant.
Piñatex, Ananas Anam Ltd.
The textile, which is renewable, compostable, and eco-friendly, is also amazingly versatile as it is mouldable and easily dyed. Its level of innovatation continues as it transforms a waste product into a sustainable new textile with many uses. Dr Carmen Hijos’ aim is “to develop natural textiles that can have a positive impact on the world of materials.” At approximately £18 per meter and leading to much less waste than leather production, Piñatex is more economical than traditional leather. The circular life of Piñatex’s production shows how resources can be efficiently used and companies can achieve a positive social and environmental impact.
“5 years ago the Royal College of Art did not have a strong sustainability agenda, today it has a whole department.” Dr Carmen Hijos
Images left to right: Mayya Saliba, Design Curial.
Having passed the ISO international standards, a number of key brands have used the textile to develop prototype products. Piñatex has been used by designers such as Ally Capellino, Puma, John Jenkings in collaboration with Ulterior Design Upholstery, Patricia Moore, Dagmar Kestner, SmithMatthia and Julia Georgalli. Hijos believes that there is a place for Piñatex in the world, which is clearly evidenced by its direct appeal to the fashion, accessories and furnishing industries.