What Is Piñatex?
Piñatex is an innovative natural material made from pineapple leaves that are left over after the fruit is harvested. It is a way of utilizing a product that would otherwise be discarded, which reduces the amount of organic waste going to landfill and thus the methane emissions that would result.
Piñatex was developed by Dr. Carmen Hijosa, a Spanish leathergoods expert who grew horrified at the environmental impact of leather production while working in the Philippines in the 1990s. Nor did she approve of the petroleum-based alternatives that are commonly used, such as polyvinyl chloride and polyurethane. At the same time, Hijosa noticed how some traditional Filipino garments were made from pineapple fibers, which kickstarted her research into how such a resource could be transformed into something more widely usable.
The fabric is made by extracting fibers from the pineapple leaves after harvest. They are washed and dried in the sun, then undergo a purification process that results in a fluffy fiber. This fluff is blended with corn-based polylactic acid (PLA) and turned into a non-woven mesh called "Piñafelt," which is the base for Piñatex products. This mesh is then sent to Italy or Spain for finishing, where it is colored using pigments certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard and given a coating that adds durability, strength, and water resistance, as well as a metallic sheen if desired.
You can read more about this on Treehugger.com here.