Pineapple leaves – the ingredients of the future for sustainable accessories?
Genuine leather products are found in various forms in our lives, being preferred for their quality and durability. Shoes are probably the most common purchase and last much longer than eco-leather. The fashion industry therefore occupies a leading place in the manufacture of natural leather products, annually endangering the lives of thousands of animals, for simple or printed bags, belts or wallets.
Although the quality of these products is superior, the effects on the environment are worrying. Understanding the growing need to protect wildlife and avoid waste, researchers have come up with ingenious formulas for making “vegan skin”, and then developing small businesses around this concept.
Dr. Carmen Hijosa, for example, discovered that the fibers in pineapple leaves can be used to produce vegan skin. In the Philippines, where it had accepted the invitation to help develop the industry locally, Pinatex was born, a material that the big footwear companies started to gradually introduce in their activity.
Vegan skin protects the life of animals, but even this is not a completely eco-friendly alternative. In the manufacturing process, chemicals and plastics are used, so the products are no longer completely biodegradable. If a genuine leather bag breaks down over time, it takes much longer for synthetic leather products.
Like pineapple leaves, apple peels began to be used as a raw material in the manufacture of vegan leather. After drying, they are turned into powder and combined with other ingredients, taking on different colors. Although not as elastic, it is used in the production of bags, watch straps and diaries.
Another alternative comes from Italian wine producers, who were looking for a way to recover the leftovers from grape must. Tactile, this type of leather is very similar to the natural one and is 100% sustainable, but at the moment it is not used in making a wide range of products. The color is usually cherry, being perfect for women’s accessories.
Although we would not expect this, organic leather is also made from the roots of mushrooms, being more durable than others. Cork oak wood, waxed cotton, large plant leaves, as well as coffee beans are also used as raw materials.
With more and more products of this kind appearing on the market, maybe the future will even bring the replacement of the furniture market with one of these eco options. What is certain is that animals are grateful for technological efforts, which have shown that some human needs can be met without endangering nature. Whether you want to see what the final product looks like or you are curious about the manufacturing process, the Internet is a real resource, accessible anytime, anywhere.