What is Piñatex (also known as pineapple leather)?


Piñatex is the fabric of the future. It’s a product that hits all the sustainability buttons! Read this blog to learn all about it.


Piñatex is an alternative to leather that is made from cellulose fibres taken from pineapple leaves. This natural alternative was developed by Dr Carmen Hijosa after seeing the devasting environmental impact resulting from leather tanning.


How is Piñatex made?

The status symbol, pineapple, with its exotic appearance and fresh taste has gained popularity in the UK since its first appearance in 1668.  There are 300 billion pineapples farmed globally every year. This results in thousands of tonnes of waste which is either left to rot or even burned.  The pioneering Piñatex is made from that industrial waste where pineapple leaves are felted together to create a non-woven textile.


What can Piñatex be used to make?

Piñatex is most commonly used for manufacturing bags, purses, wallets and shoes. However, due to the hard-wearing nature of the textile, it can be used for anything that would normally be used to create leather products, which is why it makes a great leather alternative.


Is Piñatex good for the environment?

Because Piñatex is produced from pineapple waste it doesn’t require more water or fertilisers which reduces the environmental damage caused during the production of the fruit. Piñatex does not contain any animal by-product and so it makes it more sustainable than leather.  In addition, it’s biodegradable.


Piñatex versus animal leather

Piñatex Animal leather
Heavy use of fossil fuels No Yes
Use of toxic chemicals when tanning No Yes
Waste from tanning No Yes
Use of additional fertilizers and water during production No Yes
Expensive No Yes