If you make a habit of following developments in the ever-expanding world of plant-based materials – and, being as you’re reading this on FUTUREVVORLD, it’s quite likely that you do – then you’ve probably heard of something called PIÑATEX®. First created by ANANAS ANAM founder Dr. Carmen Hijosa back in the 1990s, and coming with the impressive distinction of being the first material of its kind to hit the market, PIÑATEX® is crafted from pineapple leaf fibers to simulate the look and feel of animal-based leather. Now, with that same industry-disrupting mindset at work, the team at ANANAS ANAM have launched their latest innovation: PIÑAYARN®.
As well as being 100% plant-based, this newest development promises a recyclable and biodegradable material that directly competes with petroleum-based textiles and raw fibers, presenting a more sustainable option to the considerable resources required for their production. Thanks to its use of agricultural waste in the form of discarded pineapple leaves, PIÑAYARN® uses comparatively less in terms of land, water, and pesticides throughout the process.
More than just picking up the leftovers, though, finding a use for resources that would otherwise be considered wastage and summarily burned means that CO2 emissions are effectively brought down in real terms. With the creation of PIÑAYARN®, that’s six kilograms of CO2 emissions per kilo of yarn that never makes it out into the environment.
“Developing a yarn that uses the same repurposed waste pineapple leaves was always a natural step after inventing PIÑATEX®,” explains Hijosa. “The global pandemic accelerated this development as we worked on creating a yarn for biodegradable face coverings. It became imminently obvious that the yarn’s credentials would make a positive impact in the fashion and footwear industries.”
The production process for PIÑAYARN® is a closed-loop method that promises zero waste: fibers go through a dry spinning process that doesn’t use any water or harmful chemicals – an process which means that Piñayarn is naturally breathable and biodegradable, as well as boasting a low impact on the environment. And, along with its green credentials, PIÑAYARN® also comes with human benefits: creating jobs in rural communities and providing extra income for pineapple farmers.
Of course, checking all of those boxes – coming up with all the right answers in terms of environmentally friendly and equitable production methods – is no mean feat, but PIÑAYARN®’s versatility as a product also brings something essential to the endeavour: a level of practical application and customization which ensures that this innovative material can be used for anything from footwear, to clothing and accessories, to a slew of other decorative and useful textile products.
In short: expect to see PIÑAYARN® making its way to the fashion and footwear brands you follow very soon.