Piñatex is a new material, developed as a PhD project at the Royal College of Art in London, by leather industry expert Carmen Hijosa who went on to found Ananas Anam. Motivated by what she had seen in the leather industry over the course of her career, Carmen set out to produce a new material that could do the job of leather, but which had a positive social and environmental impact.
In the past, waste husk from pineapple farming would have been burned. So in buying this 'waste' material from farming communities, the the environmental harm caused by burning is prevented. Once the fibre has been stripped from the leaf the leftover biomass can be retained to use as a natural fertiliser or bio-fuel, offering a further environmental prospect.
Not only that, but the farming communities benefit from an additional income stream, as their waste material takes on a new value. Ananas Anam use it to create pulp, which ultimately becomes rolls of Piñatex material for us in fashion and the garment industry.