Piñatex mission is to create an innovative natural and sustainable textile made from pineapple leaf fibre.
Piñatex® is made of ﬁbre from the leaves of the pineapple plant. These leaves are discarded from the pineapple harvest, so the raw material requires no additional environmental resources to produce. The long fibres are extracted through a process called decortication, which is done at the plantation by the farming community. Ananas Anam has developed the first automated decorticating machine to assist with this process, allowing farmers to utilise greater quantities of their waste leaves. Once the leaves have been stripped of fibre the leftover biomass can be used as a nutrient-rich natural fertiliser or a biofuel, so nothing is wasted. The fibres then get degummed and undergo an industrial process to become a non-woven mesh, which forms the base of Piñatex®. The rolls of non-woven mesh are then transported to Spain for specialised finishing. This unique process is what gives Piñatex® its leather-like appearance, creating a textile that is soft and flexible, yet very durable. The finished textile is distributed to designers directly by Ananas Anam, who use it as a sustainable alternative to leather in footwear and fashion accessories, clothing, interior furnishing and automotive upholstery.
The journey of Piñatex® began while Carmen, a leathergoods expert, was consulting on the Philippines leather export industry in the 1990s. Shocked at the environmental impact of mass leather production and chemical tanning she realised this could not continue, but knew that PVC alternatives were not the solution. She was driven to research a sustainable alternative. Inspired by the abundance of natural resources, including the use of plant fibres in traditional weaving such as the delicate Barong Tagalog garments, Carmen sought to create a new, non-woven textile that could be commercially produced, provide positive social and economic impact and maintain a low environmental footprint throughout its life cycle. From initial sampling to developing a viable supply chain, the Piñatex® journey is inspired by the principles of a Circular Economy and Cradle to Cradle values. The use of pineapple leaf fibre, an agricultural waste product, provides the opportunity to build a scalable commercial industry for developing farming communities, with minimal environmental impact.
Ananas Anam works to the values of a circular economy, combining research and innovation to enhance the well-being of the earth and its people through the entire life cycle of the product. Our inspiration is the *Cradle to Cradle® approach, which supports ecological, intelligent and innovative design policies within todays economic environment.
Ananas Anam supports rural communities by working directly with farming cooperatives to create an additional stream of income to pineapple farmers. Piñatex® is made from the leaves of the pineapple plant, the byproduct of the fruit industry, which are traditionally discarded or burned. Adding value to this waste has created a new source of income for farming communities who otherwise rely on a seasonal harvest. Once the fibre has been stripped from the leaf the leftover biomass is retained to use as a natural fertiliser or biofuel, offering a further economic prospect.
Leather has been used for thousands of years, however as the industry demands more – and cheaper – supply, its production has become environmentally unsustainable. Tanning is a complicated process, involving approximately 20 stages and 250 chemicals (including toxins and heavy metals such as hexavelent chromium, aldehyde, cyanide, zinc and lead) to halt decomposition, which are extremely damaging to both people and the environment. Synthetic alternatives such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride) are not the solution, as these are ecologically toxic to both produce and dispose of. Piñatex® addresses these issues as a sustainably sourced textile, made from a natural waste product, created low water use and low production waste, containing no harmful chemicals or animal products.
+ promote a new natural and sustainable textile
+ improve reducing waste
+ low environmental impact
+ high social responsibility and positive social impact
+ dissemination of sustainable practices
– difficulty in replacing the most famous common textile