Spanish Designer Makes Vegan Leather from Pineapples

Carmen Hijosa creates Piñatex as a biodegradable and cruelty-free alternative to animal leather.

The new leather-like Piñatex—a material similar to canvas derived from repurposed pineapple leaf waste matter—has been created by Spanish designer, Carmen Hijosa. A biodegradable and cruelty-free alternative to animal leather, Piñatex sells for approximately $5 to $15 per square meter, making it cheaper than animal leather and, in turn, an attractive alternative for larger scale textile manufacturing of items such as furniture, car interiors, and sporting goods. A recent PhD graduate of London Royal College of the Arts, Hijosa partnered with brands such as Puma and Camper to create vegan shoe prototypes and recently won a material innovator award from The Arts Foundation of the United Kingdom. Hijosa’s pineapple faux leather material is fully compostable and will be commercially available in spring 2016.

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