Vegan fashionistas may have received one of the greatest gifts: sustainable leather that's both animal-friendly and, well, not plastic crap. Introducing pineapple leather.
According to Fast Company's Co.Exist, pineapple leather came into being during leather expert Carmen Hijosa's search into the workings of the Philippines' leather industry. There, she came up with an ingenious way to cut back on the impact the Filipino leather industry has on the environment — as well as its factory workers, many of whom handle hazardous chemicals like formaldehyde during the manufacturing process.
Hijosa found that pineapple leaves, which grow in abundance throughout the region, offer a solid alternative to leather.
"It's very fine," Hijosa noted. "It has very good strength and flexibility, which is really what we need to make a non-woven substrate."
She calls the resulting product Piñatex. "It's created from a byproduct of agriculture, meaning it's a total waste product," she told Coexist. "This really means that in order to have Piñatex, a textile, we don't have to use any land, water, pesticides, fertilizers ... we are actually taking a waste material and 'upscaling' it, meaning that we're giving it added value."
A look at the company's products suggest it might be time to ditch the cheap jackets and accessories and opt for the more sustainable leather of the future: