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What Is Piñatex? How Is It Made & Is It Ethical?

Fashion has an obligation to confront the ongoing crisis of global warming. Toxic leather tanning practices, cruel labor conditions, and chemical heavy manufacturing has no place in the future of handbags. Enter: Piñatex.  

What is Piñatex and what is Piñatex made from? Here’s our guide to one of the most exciting vegan leathers currently available. 

Piñatex is a vegan leather made from the fibers of pineapple leaves
Source: Getvegan

What Is Pineapple Leather?

Widely known as Piñatex, a vegan leather made from pineapples, was created to provide a convincing and environmentally friendly alternative to animal leather. It was designed by Dr. Carmen Hijosa, a Spanish fashion designer and entrepreneur. While working in the Philippines as a consultant in the leather industry, she was appalled by the toxic and environmentally dangerous processes entailed in producing leather. 

After pursuing a Ph.D in textiles at the Royal College of Art in London, Dr. Hijosa invented a solution to the leather industry’s toxicity problem. After intensive research, she came up with a way of turning pineapple leaf fibers into a durable textile and founded her Philippines-based company, Ananas Anam, to produce Piñatex. 

Pineapple Leaf Collection for Piñatex Manufacturing
Source: Ananas Anam

How is Pineapple Leather Made?

What is piñatex made from? Ingeniously, Piñatex is made from the by-products of pineapple crops that would typically go to waste. Typically, 40,000 pounds of pineapple leaves go to waste every year, and are either burned or left to rot. Piñatex interrupts these polluting processes and finds a renewed purpose for the crop by products.  The stems and leaves of pineapple plants are harvested and then felted into a thick fiber that closely resembles animal leather. While many vegan leathers are made from plastics or other non-natural products, Piñatex is an exceptionally natural textile. It’s so environmentally friendly that even the by-products of Piñatex can even be composted

Pineapple Leather is Very Durable
Source: Design for Longevity

Is Pineapple Leather Durable?

On top of being aesthetically pleasing and easily passing for real leather, piñatex is extremely durable. The environmentally friendly material proves that you don’t have to sacrifice on value to shop ethical fashion. Piñatex is a practical choice for those who want their bags to make good investments. The pineapple leather bag is versatile, flexible, strong, durable and made to last. 

The Pineapple Leather Bag comes in all Shades and Colors

Where Can I Buy Piñatex Products?

Top brands from Stella McCarthy to Hugo Boss to Hozen are utilizing this innovative material to provide their customers with high quality products that look and feel just like leather, without participating in the toxic and cruel practices necessary to manufacture animal leather. With environmentalism on trend for spring 2021, it’s likely more and more companies will follow suit. Hopefully soon Piñatex will become a household name, and the answer to “Where can I buy Piñatex products?” will be: pretty much anywhere. You can take a look at our gorgeous Piñatex collection with pretty much any type of handbag.

Ananas Anam is certified by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) so vegan fashionistas can also find associated products through their website. At half the price of real leather, Piñatex is an animal lovers’ dream product. 

Piñatex provides Pineapple Farmers with an Additional Crop
Source: HFS Collective

Is Piñatex Ethical?

While all vegan leathers are innocent of animal cruelty, many are guilty of environmental waste and toxic manufacturing. The best thing about Piñatex is that the material is not only durable and versatile, but it’s also safe to produce, all natural, and biodegradable. 

Because Piñatex is made by repurposing a waste crop, it takes no additional water or fertilizer to grow and, amazingly, by-products of the production process can be used as a natural compost. Pineapple farmers also win. Whether Piñatex is being used to make pineapple leather bags or upscale shoes, Piñatex invents an additional raw material that farmers can sell.

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