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Wednesday 3 January 2018

Vegan Leather; Pinapple, Pinapple, Pinapple, Pinapple

This post if you couldn't tell is about the wonderful fruit pinapple. I do agree that it appears I have lost the plot a little but bear with me and all will soon be revealed because really this post is all about leather.

Leather is a pretty controversial topic, it uses animal skin for one and the second is tanneries where leather is processed and dyed is one of the largest polluters in the fashion world. This is mainly because a lot of tanneries are in developing countries where the laws and regulations are not present. This lack of law enforcement has resulted in the pollution of water systems from small streams to the places like the river gangee. Many communities are therefore also affected by the pollution.

When a leather specialist visited the Philipines, she not only saw how bad the industry was for the local people and the environment but also how the leather being produced was of poor quality. One material that was however in abundance yet going to waste was the pinapple leaf.

Carmen Hijosa, the leather specialist also discovered that the leaves shared many qualities with leather such as good strength and flexibility and so provided a plant based alternative. Due to this discovery Hijosa left her job and underwent 7 years of research, earning her PhD and now manufactures her pinapple based leather.

The pinapple based leather named Pinatex not only has the benefit of not harming any animals but also has the added bonus of helping the environment. As the pinapple leaf was already a waste product this also means that the farmers have the opportunity to create further income where no additional land, water or any other resource.

The use of pinapple leaves for leather means additional income for the families that originally only had one source. A greater income for those families will naturally benefit the local communities in areas where there is little money.

Although Pinatex has is still relatively new in terms of fabrics, sales for 2018 are predicted to be over 1 million showing how many fashion brands are interested in the leather alternative. Only time will tell if this comes true, but lets hope this leather alternative will only go from strength to strength to reduce land use requirements and improve the overall lifecycle of the plant and the communities that depend on it.

Do you own any items with Pinatex? Do you think vegan leather is the way forward?


1 comment:

  1. It's very well documented. It was helpful. Thank you.