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Piñatex, a vegan leather made from recycled pineapple crop, tops the charts when it comes to sustainability. While many vegan leather alternatives are made from plastics or other non-natural products, Piñatex innovatively makes use of portions of the pineapple plant that can be recycled and used as an all-natural raw material. 

When it comes to protecting local farming communities, protecting the rights of animals, cutting toxic or chemical heavy manufacturing materials out of the production process and recycling crops that would otherwise go to waste—Piñatex is the ethical shopper’s dream come true. Let’s answer some questions about just what makes this vegan leather so remarkable. 

Piñatex swatch grid
Piñatex swatch grid
image: Piñatex

What is the Story behind Piñatex?

Piñatex was designed by Dr. Carmen Hijosa, a fashion designer and entrepreneur. After receiving a Ph.D in textiles at the Royal College of Art in London, Dr. Hijosa decided to intervene in the toxic and violent leather industry. After years of research, she invented a process that transforms pineapple leaf fibers into a vegan leather and started making piñatex at her her Phillipines-based company, Ananas Anam

Is Pineapple leather Biodegradable?  

Piñatex is made of all-natural pineapple crops, so, like any other biological material it breaks-down over time. Unlike plastic vegan leathers, you can sleep easy knowing your Piñatex bags will never sit in a landfill. In fact, parts of Piñatex leather can even be used to strengthen the qualities of soil that nurture future pineapple crops. The manufacturing process is so good for the environment that even the by-products of Piñatex can be composted.

Natural dyes mean that biodegradable Piñatex is available in an array of colors, this material comes in traditional colors such as a sultry charcoal or a classic brown, but it can also be rendered in eye catching gold and silver. 

HOZEN Colorblock Tote • Charcoal + Natural
HOZEN Colorblock Tote • Charcoal + Natural

Is Piñatex 100% animal free?

Piñatex doesn’t require the use of any animal products. On top of that, manufacturing this material is uniquely non-destructive to animal habitats or ecological needs. Since the material is made from a by-product of an existing crop, it doesn’t require any additional land, water, or pesticides to develop. 

The conversion of nature to crop land is a major disruptor for local ecologies, so, the fact that Piñatex doesn’t contribute to any land conversion is a huge plus for wildlife. Additionally, the lack of new pesticide is great for insects and fish in the surrounding ecosystem. So, Piñatex isn’t just 100% animal free, it’s also a material that takes wildlife preservation seriously. 

What are the Benefits of Pineapple Leather?

Piñatex’s production is Eco-Efficient and Green

Piñatex’s production is Eco-Efficient and Green

image: Piñatex

Perhaps the most exciting benefit of pineapple leather is how ethically and socially responsible it is. This vegan leather alternative partners with local farming communities to grow pineapple crops in a way that is sustainable, not just for the environment but for farmers. With long term environmental consciousness in mind, Ananas-Anam is producing Piñatex in partnership with local communities. 

How Do You Take Care of Piñatex?

Part of what contributes to Piñatex’s sustainability is its durability. One of the best ways to be an environmentally friendly shopper is to invest in pieces you for-see owning for a long time. Piñatex can last for three to four years, or even longer, if properly cared for. So, knowing how to handle this vegan leather is important. 

To take care of Piñatex, it’s best to wash it was a cloth soaked in soapy warm water and never fully submerge the product in water, as this might cause permanent damage. Colourless wax, applied in small volumes, can also be used to protect this vegan leather and extend its lifespan. Think of vegan leather like your skin, don’t let it get too dry, or too oily, and avoid any harsh chemicals that might be too aggressive for this completely natural textile. 

Piñatex comes in several colors and styles
Piñatex comes in several colors and styles
image: Piñatex

With many of the benefits of traditional leather, Piñatex is a natural and durable material that is also highly sustainable and excellent for the environment. It is waterproof, lightweight, adaptable and long-lasting, and, on top of all that, it’s one of the most green and ethical products you can buy. 

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