Leather expert Carmen Hijosa invented the non-woven pineapple leather, trademarked as Pinatex, in response to the problems with conventional leather production. Unlike cotton, no additional land, water or other resources are required to produce it, as pineapple leaves are typically a waste product. It also gives farmers extra income, which is much-needed in many regions where crops such as pineapples are grown. Where most of the cotton plant is left to die after harvesting, pineapple leather means that all parts of the pineapple plant are used. As well as being sustainable, biodegradable and reusable, the "leather" is very versatile, as it can be cut, molded, painted, dyed, oiled, waterproofed and stitched. Cotton can use up to 20,000 litres of water per kilogram, and conventional farming of the plant is responsible for over 25% of all insecticide and 12% of all pesticide use.
|Stylish. Source: TR2HG|
Synthetic leather is usually made from plastic, which comes from petroleum, a finite resource that can become all sorts of toxins. Sometimes, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is involved, a product that contains phthalates among other chemicals. PVC also frequently contains the increasingly unpopular BPA, and is used in making a wide range of products from shoes to catheters to toys. Because of the chlorine content, dioxins are released when PVC is manufactured, burnt or landfilled, and at least one of the dioxins is a carcinogen. Phthalates, BPA and dioxins are also endocrine disruptors, which negatively affect hormone production and activity. With manufacturing and often use of both conventional and synthetic leather being harmful to producers and consumers, why not switch to plant-based substitutes?