Leather Alternative Made from Pineapple Leaves

Ananas Anam has developed Piñatex, a natural plant- based fabric made of fibers extracted from pineapple leaves, which is used as an alternative to leather.

Piñatex is a plant-based non-woven textile made from long fibers found in pineapple leaves and bonded together without knitting or weaving. A by- product of pineapple harvesting, no extra land, water, fertilizers, or pesticides are required to produce Piñatex. Farmers extract the fibers from the leaves at the plantation through a delicate disassembly process. Through mechanical maneuvering, without being woven, the fibers are combined to form a net and are then converted into thread. The biomass remaining after the extraction of fibers can be used for natural fertilizer.

Piñatex comes with various thicknesses and finishes and has the same durability as real leather. Strong and breathable, the fabric is an alternative to leather, and is used for upholstery, clothing, and accessories, with PUMA making shoe prototypes using Piñatex.

Relevance of solution

The growing global demand for leather has caused a boom in the industry in recent years.1 Compared to real leather, which requires a chemical-intensive tanning process, Piñatex provides an alternative with a reduced carbon footprint and lower chemical use, which is safer for the workers in tanneries, while also providing pineapple farmers with a new possible revenue stream.

Triple Bottom Line

Environmental

The solution uses a by- product from pineapple harvesting as the base material of its products, reducing the need for cotton, synthetics, and leather.

Social

Ananas Anam provides jobs to pineapple farming communities in the Philippines.

Economic

Piñatex gives pineapple farmers a new source of revenue by using fibers extracted from pineapple leaves.


Other resources

  1. Blog

Sources

  1. FAO. “World Statistical Compendium for Raw Hides and Skins, Leather, and Leather Footwear 1998-2014.” (2015)