Tropical Treat; Sustainable Plant Based Alternative For Leather
Every time I think of pineapples it reminds me of my holiday in Hawaii. Driving through the sweet-smelling pineapple fields before reaching the North Shore to watch the local surfers. This tropical treat is not just a product to tantalise your taste buds but is now used to make leather, a more humane and animal friendly alternative.
Created by Dr Carmen Hijosa, who, wanted to create a material, which is less impact on the environment and is more humane than traditional methods of leather production. This led to Dr Hijosa creating Pinatex, a leather made from pineapple leaves. A natural bye product left over from harvesting of the fruit. I think we can all agree that Dr Hijosa philosophy:
“Design is a connecting tool between people, economics and the environment – and out of this communion, understanding and respect new ideas and products with integrity can come about”.
Applies to us all when designing and creating spaces.
What is it
What was once perceived as just a tropical culinary delight is now a great vegan and sustainable leather alternative which is now used within the interior design and fashion industry. Pinatex properties has a positive life cycle (Cradle to Grave). From extraction (as a pineapple) to its production into a leather, and finally, its end life, being able to be broken down and re-used again.
How is it made
How is this great alternative leather made? The process involved includes extraction of the pineapple leaf fibres. The fibres are then washed and dried out in natural sun light. Next the fibres are combined with polylactic acid (a sustainable natural product) and put through a mechanical process to form Pinatex.
This great alternative gives us the ability to create happy, healthy and luxurious spaces. Spaces that we can enjoy for years to come and that will help to protect the environment. If you’re a keen traveller, Hilton Bankside London have recently used Pinatex to create the first vegan suite.