Someone has just named pineapple as the Rolls-Royce of natural fibres! That’s all for a one good reason – it produces the finest wearable fibres, read along:
What if we told you that pineapple waste may no longer be wasted (ie. there’re an estimated 40,000 tones of pineapple waste generated globally every year), while instead this type of waste can be worn in a fashionable and yet sustainable way!
We’ve come across yesterday a brand worth of a full article, front-line story board – meet Ananas Anam, the company lead by a former leather researcher, now CEO and founder of an innovative animal-friendly alternative to leather.
The material uses fine cellulose fibres extracted from pineapple leaves – which are considered an agricultural by-product that is often burned or left to rot.
The pineapple waste is now being taken from pineapple plantations in the Philippines, with local farmers separating the strands and felting them together into a non-woven fabric that can be used for fashion bags, footwear and furnishings amongst other future applications:
The venture was founded by social entrepreneur and designer, Dr Carmen Hijosa, who has a track record in design and manufacture of luxury leather goods as co-founder and designer of Irish-based Chesneau Leather Goods, which exported globally to outlets including Harrods and Liberty in London:
Carmen has also recently become the winner of InnovateUK’s Women in Innovation Awards 2016. Now let’s cite a few curious stats to help bewilder your imagination further on:):
- Around 480 leaves (that’s roughly 16 pineapples) go into the creation of a single square metre of Piñatex, which weighs and costs less than a comparable amount of leather.
– It also weighs 4 times less than leather!
– & at £18 per metre costs around 30 per cent less;
– To date, Ananas Anam has made around 3,000 metres of Piñatex and has the capacity to create up to 100,000 metres per month.
– The company has already raised £100,000 in initial funding, has attracted interest from 200 manufacturers, 30 of whom have subsequently placed orders.
“It’s passed all the technical tests needed for footwear, bags and upholstery, which is the most stringent of all,” says Hijosa. “It’s really strong in stitching and it flexes very well. It’s also fire-retardant.
Although pineapple-sourced products are now at the stage of prototypes Carmen is hopeful to launch the 1st range of products by Spring next year.
Really looking forward to seeing these either online or in-store! Best of luck to Carmen and her team x
Ames & Nadya @Bagstowear