Piñatex, an innovative natural textile made from waste pineapple leaf fibre


Ananas Anam

Company type




Business model

Create value from waste

Circular principle

Build with abundant, accessible, and renewable resources

The challenge

The journey of Piñatex® began while Carmen Hijosa, a leathergoods expert, was consulting on the Philippines leather export industry in the 1990’s. Shocked at the environmental impact of mass leather production and chemical tanning she realised this could not continue, but knew that PVC alternatives were not the solution. She was driven to research a sustainable alternative.
Inspired by the abundance of natural resources, including the use of plant fibres in traditional weaving such as the delicate Barong Tagalog garments, Carmen sought to create a new, non-woven textile that could be commercially produced, provide positive social and economic impact and maintain a low environmental footprint throughout its life cycle.


The solution

Piñatex® is made of fibre from the waste leaves of the pineapple plant. These leaves are a by-product from existing pineapple harvest, so the raw material requires no additional environmental resources to produce.


Description of business model

Value proposition: Unlike PVC ‘cruelty-free’ leather, which is toxic both to make and discard, Piñatex is biodegradable, waste-reducing, and allows pineapple farmers in the Philippines to earn extra income on their crops.

Value creation and delivery: The raw material that forms the base of Piñatex®is a by-product of the pineapple harvest.The use of pineapple leaf fibre, an agricultural waste product, provides the opportunity to build a scalable commercial industry for developing farming communities, with minimal environmental impact.
After pineapple harvest, the suitable plant leaves which are left behind are collected in bundles and the long fibres are extracted using semi-automatic machines.
The 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.
This fluff-like pineapple leaf fibre (PALF) gets mixed with a corn based polylactic acid (PLA) and undergoes a mechanical process to create Piñafelt, a non-woven mesh which forms the base of all Piñatex collections.
Piñatex is fit for use across fashion, accessories & upholstery and has been used by over 1000 brands worldwide including Hugo Boss, H&M and the Hilton Hotel Bankside.


More info

Ananas anam website

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