Conventional leather production involves a process called tanning in which different chemicals are used to make the leather soft an attractive to the consumers. Evidence has been found that many of these substances are very harmful to the environment and the health of the workers and the communities where tanning operations are held. Chromium VI is one of the most widely used chemicals and it is believed to cause skin rash, kidney and liver damage, respiratory problems, and various types of cancer among others.
Piñatex is a “non-woven textile made from pineapple leaves´ fibers”. This technology is an alternative for conventional leather due to its durability and texture properties. Piñatex is a sub-product of pineapple production that uses the leaves that are left on the field to rotten. This makes the process very sustainable in the sense that no extra land is needed for it.
- Textile industry.
- Tannery workers.
- Health authorities of leather intensive communities.
The product is fully developed, but it is in constant development to achieve a greater potential. So far brands like Puma or Camper have backed it up by using Piñatex in their products. The project is ready to go to the next level for which funding from either the private or the public sector could be useful.