This year, we were able to purchase some Piñatex and design a small collection of bags. And we have to say, the future for sustainable fashion looks pretty great.
Piñatex has a slightly different feel than animal skin leather, but it has is its own great texture. It is important to appreciate it for its own attributes, because when someone tells you, “ the cauliflower mashed potatoes taste EXACTLY like the real thing” (they don’t), it’s a let down.
But we shouldn’t be comparing them as if they are the same thing. They are not the same. But that’s the beauty of it. It is made from something different, so of course it will feel a little bit different.
Piñatex is not an imitation leather, it is an alternative to using leather.
Vegan handbags made from PVC or PU leathers have grown in popularity in recent years, and while they are not using animal skins, which is great, they have their own questionable environmental impact.
Piñatex gives the best of both worlds, as it is made from natural fibers, and is also an alternative to leather. Here are some of the other advantages to Piñatex:
Piñatex makes use of the by-product of an existing industry.
To make Piñatex, pineapple farmers in the Philippines collect leaves from the pineapple plant. These leaves of the plant are left over after the fruit of the pineapple is harvested. Fibers are extracted from these leaves which would normally go to waste. By using the by-product of an existing industy, Piñatex requires no extra land, water or pesticides to produce the raw material.
Safe Dyes and Resins
The dyes used for Piñatex are GOTS approved and the resins comply with AFIRM standards.
Piñatex is a vegan material. No animal by-products are used in any stage of production. Piñatex is also a PETA approved material.
It is Socially Responsible
Ananas Anam, the company behind Piñatex works directly with farming cooperatives in the Philippines to harvest the fibers. This creates an additional stream of income for pineapple farmers.
So many plant-derived textiles are staples in our wardrobes, cotton, linen, hemp, tencel, and new innovations of such as Piñatex are just the newest iterations of this idea. For all of the discouraging news surrounding the fashion industry, this is a bright spot for hope. How cool is it to be able to be a part of it all?