It might look like a conventional leather jacket, but it's actually made from pineapples. Yep, that's right, the prickly fruit usually found in the grocery aisle. This is Pinatex, a vegan product made from pineapple leaves that a Spanish entrepreneur says could end the era of cowhide production. Carmen Hijosa is the brains behind this sustainable product.
She created her company Ananas Anam to market Piñatex after leaving her job in leather design due to its environmental impact.>> I found this pineapple leaf fiber which is used traditionally in the Philippines for 400 years to make handwoven textiles. Because their characteristics, they're very fine and strong and flexible.
So my idea was what if I make a mesh with these fibers, not unlike what leather is. I was
fibers. And that was the beginning of this new material which is Pinatex.>> Pineapples are one of the most popular fruits in the world, so resources are readily available.
But making Pinatex is heavy work. Around 480 leaves are needed to make just one square meter of Pinatex. That's the equivalent to the leaves of 16 plants. But Hijosa says there are 13 million tons of pineapple leaf waste in the world, and if all of that was used that could make 550 million square meters of Pinatex.
Though Pinatex doesn't pay an environmental price, the retail one is steep at around $800 for one of these pineapple jackets. Ananas Anam are now broadening their horizons, embarking on interior design and car upholstery. Since its launch in 2015, 500 manufacturers have snapped the product up worldwide.