Piñatex is made of ﬁbre from the leaves of the pineapple plant. These leaves are discarded from the pineapple harvest, so the raw material requires no additional environmental resources to produce.
The long fibres are extracted through a process called decortication, which is done at the plantation by the farming community. Ananas Anam has developed the first automated decorticating machine to assist with this process, allowing farmers to utilise greater quantities of their waste leaves. Once the leaves have been stripped of fibre the leftover biomass can be used as a nutrient-rich natural fertiliser or a biofuel, so nothing is wasted.
The fibres then get degummed and undergo an industrial process to become a non-woven mesh, which forms the base of Piñatex.
The rolls of non-woven mesh are then transported to Spain for specialised finishing. This unique process is what gives Piñatex its leather-like appearance, creating a textile that is soft and flexible, yet very durable.
The finished textile is distributed to designers directly by Ananas Anam, who use it as a sustainable alternative to leather in footwear and fashion accessories, clothing, interior furnishing and automotive upholstery.