We know, we know, we were shocked too.

Words by

Veronica Stanford

With fashion moving more rapidly toward a sustainable and ethical future, it’s a little surprising there’s never been much talk about leather. Agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to global warming, and yet we still haven’t found a sustainable and viable alternative to the animal skin.

Sure we have PU leather, but lets be real, it’s neither pleasant to touch nor is it the most environmentally friendly option.

This is all about to change though, thanks to Dr. Carmen Hijosa and her creation, Piñatex.

Piñatex is made from bonded fibres taken from pineapple leaves. It has a similar appearance to canvas, can be dyed and treated to change its texture and thickness, and most importantly, is a viable and sustainable substitute for leather. 

No really. Despite still being in its early stages, it may not be too long until products made from Piñatex hit the market. The leather alternative has already been used by both Puma and Camper in the creation of sample shoes.

The creation of Piñatex is a relatively simple one. It begins when the pineapple leaf fibres are extracted, cut up and layered. They are then put through an industrial process to form the textile. The production creates a byproduct of biomass which can be used as a fertiliser and returned back to the farmers. 

To create one square metre of Piñatex, 480 pineapple leaves are needed. It may sound like a lot, but that’s only the leaves from 16 pineapples. The leaves that are usually left to rot on the ground once the pineapples are picked, may now hold the key to sustainable leather.

Not only is Piñatex cheaper than leather, it can be created with very little waste. “We have the advantage that our waste is about 5 per cent, whereas leather’s waste is about 25 per cent, so there is a price to pay for waste as well,” Carmen told The Guardian.

With interest in the leather already high; considering no extra land, water, fertiliser or pesticides are required to create the fabric; with production costs low; and considering the fact it will bring in more income to farmers in developing countries, the future of Piñatex is looking pretty bright.


Leave a comment


November 24 - December 3.
Celebrating the intrinsic relationship between art and fashion.
A look at the generation of local labels championing local production.
With soul, creativity and love.
Social responsibility never looked so good.
Exotic leather goods for all.
File under cute present ideas.
Two generation’s worth of influences collide.
Your new leather jacket.
Pieces made from springbok.
Here to declutter your life.
Quality leather for quality guys.
Think of it like making better friends with the labels you already love.
Due to intense global competition and a devaluation of the US dollar.
The future of sneakers is looking very sustainable.
Good tunes, good vibes, good time.
Quite frankly, it isn’t that simple.
Because it can be really confusing out there.
Pieces worth investing in.
Aprons never looked so good.
Textured accessories for leather handbag lovers.
Perfect blend of grit and grace.
It only takes a hashtag to join a revolution.
Shopping for baby and mama.
Buttery leather goodness.
For the sartorial gentlemen out there.
Upcycled fashion like you've never seen.
Seductive Functionality.
Saving the world, one Canadian tux at a time.
Lovers of leather and all things handmade, we present to you, Luisa Garcia.
Scarves, glorious scarves!
Despite their name, Mum & Co. create pieces that are too cool for your mum (unless your mum is super on-trend, of course).