Pineapple leather is a textile woven from the long fibers in the fruit’s discarded leaves. Piñatex, which popularised pineapple leather, works with pineapple farmers in the Philippines who harvest and strip the fibers, which are finished in Spain. To make one square meter of Piñatex takes 460 leaves – but there’s no shortage of the raw material. Global pineapple production topped 25 million tonnes in 2016. The waste from the top 10 producer countries could theoretically replace over 50 percent of global leather output. The material is essentially just a by product of the pineapple agriculture industry. No additional land, water or fertilisers are needed to produce the fibre.
After the fibres are extracted, they 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. It also avoids the use of toxic chemicals and heavy metals used in animal leather production.
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