New type of leather could replace the plastic crap currently being worn 13



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There’s a new type of leather hitting the market. It’s sustainable, animal friendly and best of all, it’s not plastic rubbish. It is pineapple leather.

The company behind the leather, Ananas Anam, got its start a few years ago thanks to creator and CEO Dr Carmen Hijosa’s research into the leather industry in the Philippines.

She uncovered an industry having a disastrous impact on the environment and its workers — many of whom deal with hazardous chemicals like formaldehyde during manufacturing of the products.

To overcome this Hijosa found that pineapple leaves, which grow in abundance in the Philippines, are a suitable substitute for leather.

“It has very good strength and flexibility, which is really what we need to make a non-woven substrate,” Dr Hijosa says.

The product is called Piñatex, and at 63 years of age Dr Hijosa has kickstarted a new company that aims to benefit farming communities through the development of new textiles using these natural fibres.

The material is a by-product of the pineapple harvest, which means no extra land, water, fertilisers or chemicals are used in its production.

It also fills the gap between leather and petroleum-based textiles.

“We are actually taking a waste material and ‘upscaling’ it, meaning that we’re giving it added value,” Dr Hijosa says.

Is it time to ditch the cheap jackets and accessories? Would you wear more sustainable leather products?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Will you hurry up and give away those Andre R tickets. I am sick to death of that pop up every time I am interested in one of your stories!

    4 REPLY
    • Absolutely, so tired of having to click it off and it takes a while to actually do that. Oh thank God I am not the only one annoyed by this.

    • If I see another ad for Mr Drippy I’ll unsubscribe from SAS.

    • Just click on the “X” on the top right hand corner of the Andre Rieu ad.
      Very easy

  2. Bring it on, what a wonderful idea. If Pineapple leaf boots last as long as RM”s will be great.

    1 REPLY
    • An environmentally friendly, cruelty-free material for use in shoes, accessories is a welcome advance. Hope shoes made from this product are available asap.

      1 REPLY
      • Huh “cruelty free”?
        The animals donating their hide will be killed for their meat anyway.
        May as well use the hide since otherwise it would be wasted eh?

  3. Please get rid of the Andre Rieu ads, they are so annoying. They take an age to switch off and there seem to be more of them. This promotion is not endearing him or you!

    1 REPLY
    • Just click on the “X” on the top right hand corner of the Andre Rieu ad.
      This doesn’t take “ages”!

  4. First up you cannot call it leather if it is not taken off a mammal or reptile. Call it synthetic leather or fake leather.
    There was a story not so long ago about someone who was turning banana peels into material for clothing. We already turn bamboo into all sorts of clothing, linen etc, so the technology to convert pineapple leaves into synthetic leather is probably not very new. Would I wear gear made from this product? – yes , of course, as long as it had similar longevity and was reasonably priced.

  5. Hope they come on the market soon.

  6. Leather is a by-product of the meat industry, I can’t see people not eating meat in the near future. Nothing takes the place of leather, it breaths, it wears well, protects and good quality leather looks better as it ages if cared for.

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