Is Revolutionary Pineapple Leather The Way For Sustainable Fashion?
We’re used to finding foods like pineapples and kombucha (a fermented probiotic drink) at our local farmer's market or health food store. But did you know you might be seeing more of these products at your favorite fashion retail stores?
The issues associated with global warming, climate change, polluted oceans and the overspraying of herbicides and pesticides are becoming more and more known. You can read more about pesticides here and here.
As upsetting as these issues may be, industries of all kinds are taking positive steps to find sustainable alternatives. Fortunately, the fashion industry is one area that is well on board to making positive change.
You may be wondering what’s wrong with the textile and fashion industry the way it is now? It’s only clothes, shoes and accessories after all.
Truth Is, The Environmental Impact Of The Clothes You Wear Begins Way Before You Even Bring Them Home
The impact from the textile industry on the environment is astounding! From the water used to grow and dye the fibers, the harvesting of crops, the runoff of cheap clothing dyes into streams, rivers and oceans, and the large amount of clothing that ends up in landfill, this pollution is nothing to be proud of.
According to Greenpeace, there are approximately 2 billion pairs of jeans produced worldwide every year with each pair requiring an average of 7,000 litres (or approx. 1,850 gallons) of water to produce.
According to the Organic Consumer Association, cotton is the most toxic crop in the world, using more than 25 percent of all the insecticides and 12 percent of all of the pesticides that exist. Crazy, right?!
If you’re a subscriber to FMTV, check out this film “David vs Monsanto” to learn more about the spraying of crops and the other environmental effects of pesticides.
Cotton Also Depends Heavily On The Use Of Water
The World Wildlife Fund estimates that for every one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cotton produced, 20,000 liters (5,283 gallons) of water is required. This is equivalent to the weight of just one T-shirt and a pair of jeans.
All of us need to wear clothes, right? So surely there has got to be a better option!
Thankfully, as well as the organic cotton industry - which has some fantastic things going for it - there are also some really funky fabrics made from pineapple and kombucha scoby coming to fruition.
Pineapples are used to make a non-woven textile called Piñatex™.
Belgian-Lebanese designer, Mayya Saliba made a handbag from the fabric, which also featured in the graduate exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art. This handbag is pictured in the image above.
Piñatex provides farmers with a supplementary income, while creating a vibrant new industry for pineapple growing countries.
Piñatex fibres are the by-product of the pineapple harvest. No additional land, water, fertilizers or pesticides are required to produce them.
Pineapple and kombucha fabric are now being used to make jewellery, shoes, belts, and accessories, as well as entire outfits.
(Image Source: Denzeen.com)
The Awesome Thing About Using Pineapples And Kombucha Is That There Is Very Minimal Waste
All parts of the pineapple plant can be used whereas, typically, a majority of the cotton plant is left to die after the cotton is harvested.
Although many items of our current clothing are recycled and repurposed, three quarters of clothing still eventually ends up in the trash and then in landfill. For fabric to be truly sustainable, it needs to goes back into the ground, be biodegradable, and act as a nutrient to the soil. It just makes so much more sense, right?
This innovative concept seems to tick all the boxes. It is natural, sustainable, biodegradable and reusable. The material is extremely versatile as it can be cut, molded, glued, oiled, dyed, painted, waterproofed and stitched and the texture can resemble actual leather.