Piñatex : A Sustainable Fabric Revolution


In recent years, the fashion industry has witnessed a growing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly materials. One such innovation that has gained significant attention is Piñatex, a fabric made from pineapple leaves. Offering an ethical alternative to traditional leather, Piñatex has emerged as a game-changer, combining style, sustainability, and social responsibility. This article explores the origin, manufacturing process, benefits, and potential impact of Piñatex on the fashion industry.

The Birth of Piñatex

Piñatex fabric
Dr. Carmen Hijosa by David Stewart for Wired Magazine

Piñatex was developed by Dr. Carmen Hijosa, a Spanish designer and entrepreneur. During her years working in the leather industry, she became increasingly aware of the environmental and ethical concerns associated with traditional leather production. Inspired by the robust fibers of pineapple leaves she encountered while working in the Philippines, Dr. Hijosa embarked on a mission to create a sustainable alternative to leather.

Piñatex® ORIGINAL Natural
Piñatex® ORIGINAL Canela
Piñatex® ORIGINAL Washed Indigo
Piñatex® METALLIC Wrinkled Silver

Manufacturing Process

The production of Piñatex involves transforming the discarded leaves of pineapple plants into a versatile textile. The leaves, which are obtained from pineapple farms in the Philippines, are a byproduct of the fruit industry, making Piñatex an excellent example of upcycling. The leaves are stripped of their long fibers, which are then cleaned and processed to create a non-woven mesh.

The next step involves a mechanical process to create a textile. The fibers are mixed with a natural, plant-based binding agent, which forms a mesh that can be further treated to achieve different textures and finishes. The resulting material resembles traditional leather, both in terms of appearance and durability.

Piñatex fabric
Pineapple leaf fiber, washing and drying

Sustainable Advantages

Piñatex offers several compelling benefits that make it an attractive alternative to traditional leather and other synthetic materials:

Piñatex fabric
Piñatex Colors
  • Environmental Sustainability: By utilising pineapple leaf waste, Piñatex reduces agricultural waste and minimises the environmental impact.
  • Social Responsibility: The production of Piñatex creates additional income opportunities for pineapple farming communities.
  • Cruelty-Free: Piñatex is an animal-friendly material, offering a choice for conscious consumers who seek alternatives to animal-derived products.
  • Durability: Piñatex‘s strong and durable fibers make it suitable for various applications, including shoes, bags and accessories.
  • Versatility: The strong fabric can be molded, stitched, and embossed, offering designers a wide range of creative possibilities.

Made with Piñatex

Jo-Anne Vernay footwear designs

Several brands have already embraced the utilization of this innovative fabric. For instance, Jo-Anne Vernay has incorporated it into their footwear designs, while Lo Neel has integrated it into jackets, tops, and even shorts. The fashion house, Marici, has created diverse collections of bags crafted from this futuristic fabric. Additionally, numerous other brands have eagerly adopted Piñatex.

House of Marici, bags campaign
Piñatex fabric
House of Marici, bags campaign

Sustainability. Towards the Future

The growing demand for sustainable fashion has created an exciting opportunity for Piñatex to reshape the industry. With major fashion designers and brands, increasingly adopting this innovative material, Piñatex has gained recognition as a promising fabric that could lead the way towards a more sustainable and responsible future for fashion.

To learn additional information regarding sustainable and ethically-sourced materials, visit our dedicated section

Written by Mathis Reynaud
June 13, 2023

Dive in