Cover Photo: A Pineapple in Malaysia | © Tricia A. Mitchell
Leather has long been a key ingredient in the fashion industry. From bags and briefcases to belts and boots, leather is ubiquitous.
Unfortunately, the industry is also a major polluter. That’s why it is exciting when a sustainable leather substitute begins to enter the market.
Piñatex is the latest company to try to take a crack at a more eco-friendly leather for the fashion industry. The company’s novel approach produces its leather from the natural fibers of a pineapple leaf.
The pineapple fibers are extracted from leaves using a process called decortication, and then are degummed and processed into a mesh. This mesh is then transported to Spain for finishing into a soft, flexible, leather-like textile.
Its founder, Dr. Carmen Hijosa, launched the company through the InnovationRCA business incubator at the Royal College of Art in the United Kingdom.
Watch This Video from Reuters:
Over 60% of the world’s clothing is made of plastic in the form of nylon, polyester, and acrylic. Repeated washing of this material leads to microplastics being released into wastewater streams.
Most fake leather is also made of plastic. Typically it is made of knitted polyester with a polyurethane coating.
To reduce the amount of microplastics entering our environment, see if you can find retailers offering leather and other fabrics that are plastic-free. Sponge Bob, who lives in a pineapple under the sea, will thank you.