PiñatexTM, a vegetable alternative to leather.

In the Philippines, in traditional weddings or at important events, men dress in a transparent garment called Barong Tagalog. This garment has the particularity of being made of pineapple leaf fibers that strangely resembles leather, a material that we no longer need here to describe the harmful effects on the planet. This is where the Spanish designer, Carmen Hojisa, discovers this Philippine use and sees it as an excellent opportunity to replace traditional leather.

    

 

The textile has been described by the designer as a fine, robust and innovative textile. It is a nonwoven material made from vegetable fibers. Indeed, Piñatextm is composed of fibers extracted from pineapple leaves on farmers' plantations before they pick the fruit and discard these leaves. The harvested leaves are transformed into textile material. Remnants of vegetable matter are then transformed into biogas and organic fertilizer for Filipino farmers.It is a supplement of salary for these last ones. On average, to produce 1m² of Piñatextm, 480 leaves are required, ie 16 pineapples, which are then sent to England and Spain in order to be transformed into a non-woven material.

"Our advantage over leather is that the waste produced represents 5% of the raw material, against 25% for leather." Carmen specifies.

After nearly 10 years of research and development, the designer introduced the public on December 12, 2014, the shoes, bags and hats made of pineapple leaf fibers at the Royal College of Art in London and received a great welcome for his creations and his way of working. Today there are other vegetable materials that replace leather. Such as the leather of mushroom and the long-awaited leather of reason made from the residues of viticulture.

We will tell you more in a future post!