A new option tries to reuse pineapple leaves that would have been thrown away or burned anyway and turns them into a very, very leather-like fabric.
We assume that textiles are less harmful to the environment than plastics, but this sector also creates several problems. The chemicals used to tan leathers and to produce the dyes that give life to clothes are dangerous for both the planet and people.
Leather is one of the favorite materials of designers, but its production processes are to be avoided: this is why attempts to develop alternatives are multiplying in the world. Give it algae waste to those some fruit passing through i cactus and obviously cells grown in the laboratory, the options are increasing day by day.
The most recent is called Pinatex and it seems the most advanced of all. Starting with pineapple it provides an alternative to skin close to the original in terms of quality. And what's more, not least, it supports a truly circular economy.
Piñatex, pineapple skin
Pineapple leaves are the useless by-products of growing this tropical fruit. Currently they are scarcely used: they are simply collected and left to decompose, or burned (with consequent emissions). Piñatex harnesses their potential to produce things you would never imagine came from a pineapple.
The crux of the whole project is to build an entire ecosystem "from the cradle to the grave". Not only biodegradable materials (with less waste of resources and no chemicals), but also pineapple farmers who find new sources of employment and income.
The by-product of Piñatex? Very little, very little stuff: and it can be used as a fertilizer for the next generation of pineapples, or as biofuel for the same machines that harvest or produce this type of leather.
It is very encouraging to see more sustainable alternatives in the textile and fashion sector grow, considering how clothes and accessories are mass-produced by the millions.
Plastics and microplastics, you know, may be the biggest problem facing the planet today, but almost every aspect of our modern life deserves a re-examination and redesign. And organic or plant-based alternatives don't necessarily have to mean lower quality materials. Piñatex is here to remind us.
Would you like some pineapple juice, gentlemen?