It's hard to deny that our planet is looking a bit rough around the edges these days. One of the most environmentally devastating culprits attributed to our planet's declining health is the textile industry.
The dyes and chemicals used in the fashion industry are polluting the planet, and with the advent of fast-fashion, this problem is only getting worse.
Luckily, there are many people who are dedicating their lives to invent ethical, sustainable, and animal-friendly alternatives to detrimental processes.
Introducing Dr. Carmen Hijosa.
In the 1990s, Carmen worked as a consultant in the leather exporting industry in the Phillipines. During her time there, she was alarmed by the impact mass leather production and chemical tanning has on our environment.
She knew there must be a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to leather goods and begin researching and developing a fiber that didn't involve animals or PVC/PU. In doing so, Carmen created a textile that promotes a sustainable future connecting people, the environment, and the economy.
This product is called Piñatex, a soft, flexible, and durable alternative to leather goods. And the best part? It's made with pineapple leaves, the by-products of pineapple harvests.
First, the long fibers inside pineapple leaves are extracted. The leftovers are nutrient rich and can be used as fertilizer or biofuel, ensuring nothing is wasted during this step. The fibers are then processed and turned into Piñatex.
At this point in time, Piñatex is only available to brands, such as Hugo Boss, Altiir, and Po-Zu. It cannot be purchased by individuals or through fabric retail outlets.
And, much like real leather, products made with Piñatex can be a bit costly. But the items made with this vegan leather are absolutely gorgeous.
And knowing that this sustainable textile is cruelty-free, ethically made, and environmentally friendly will definitely keep any buyer's remorse at bay.
Because not only do these items look fantastic, they also give peace of mind to those concerned about our planet.
Let's hope we see more brilliant innovators like Dr. Carmen Hijosa in the near future!