Piñatex is a natural leather alternative made from cellulose fibres extracted from waste pineapple leaves.
After harvesting, pineapple leaf fibres are washed then dried naturally by the sun, or during the rainy season, in drying ovens. The dry fibres go through a purification process to remove any impurities which results in a fluff-like material which gets mixed with a corn based polylactic acid (PLA). The Piñatex material is then created through a mechanical process which interlocks and meshes together the long fibres from the pineapple leaves to produce a non-woven biobased layer which forms the base of all Piñatex collections.
The pineapple industry globally produces 40,000 tonnes of waste pineapple leaves each year, which are usually left to rot or are burned. Approximately 480 leaves, the waste from 16 pineapple plants, are needed to create 1 square metre of material. The material uses the long leaf fibres which are separated by the pineapple farmers for additional income, and the leftover biomass from the process can be used as a fertiliser. Piñatex is produced partially from a waste product that requires no additional land, water, pesticides or fertilisers.
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We selected Biobased Leather Alternatives to produce our bags to raise awareness about Climate, Biodiversity and Nature.
What is Biobased Leather Alternatives? It's a plant-based and refers to leather-like material that is wholly or partly derived from the food waste or by-products from agriculture - biomass, originally from plants or trees. iFarmaissance uses a variety of biomass sources such as grape residue from the waste of the wine making process and apple residue from the leftover pomace and peel from the fruit juice and compote industry, as well as pineapple leaf fibres and regeneratively grown cactus.
Our founder’s assignment of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, University of Cambridge is now supported by The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel, in conjunction with The HKSAR Innovation and Technology Commission for R & D Biobased leather alternatives with the professors of City University of Hong Kong to bring this plan to life in a real life scenario and to contribute to a Decarbonisation Solution for the World.
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