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Pineapples could replace leather, due to a new textile

By Robyn Turk


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The future is dressed in pineapples. Carmen Hijosa, a Spanish businesswoman is on a mission to prove to the world that pineapples are a suitable alternative to leather. In working as a clothing designer, Hijosa made the decision to abandon leather on environmental grounds and has recently invented Pinatex, a textile made from pineapples, as her alternative.

Pinatex is woven from the long fibers of pineapple leaves. Hijosa spent eight years developing the leather substitute before launching it commercially in 2015. She founded a company Ananas Anam to market the material, and employs pineapple farmers in the Philippines to harvest and strip the fibers from pineapples. Ananas Anam weaves the textile in Spain.

A sustainable solution, Pinatex utilizes the wastes of fruits that have no shortage. Leather, on the other hand, produces a large amount of unused waste. According to Hijosa, the byproduct of the top ten leather producing companies could replace half of the global leather output.

“Because of [pineapple’s] characteristics - they’re very fine and strong and flexible - my idea was what if I make a mesh with these fibers, not unlike what leather is,” Hijosa told Reuters.

Ananas Anam and its innovative Pinatex solution are already infiltrating the market. Reuters reported that the material has been used by around 500 manufacturers globally.

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