Apr 15, 2023
by Karl Smith
PIÑATEX® and ECOALF Serve Up a Fruit-Based Sneaker Collection
by Karl Smith
Apr 15, 2023

It’s been a good year so far for plant-based footwear. Four months in and we’ve been treated to hemp reworks of classic adidas silhouettes, a new line of VegSkin sneakers by MSGM, and an updated collection of cactus leather shoes from CLAE and Desserto.

That’s not even the full list – just a few big hitters off top.

And now we have another entry onto that list – a new and noteworthy release, this time coming from the often underrepresented world of fruit-based alternative materials. Specifically, in this case, the pineapple.

The result of a collaborative effort between pineapple pioneer Ananas Anam and the sustainability-driven fashion B-Corp ECOALF, the drop comprises four new silhouettes and offers a wholly transparent approach to the form.

Between the “Jon,” “Alcudia,” “Juno” and “Dalia” silhouettes, the release offers a selection of minimalist sneakers – high and low top, in an array of low-key colorways – created with low-impact, low-waste and potential circularity at the fore.

Crafted from a who’s who of materials, the upper of each sneaker is made from 46% PIÑATEX® – a leather alternative created from agricultural pineapple leaf waste – as well as water-based PU, bio-based PU and PLA corn. Elsewhere, the sole is 79% recycled rubber while the laces are composed of 50% recycled cotton and 50% recycled polyester.

The ECOALF website, perhaps taking a leaf from the PANGAIA playbook, also makes note of which elements aren’t included. The Juno, for example, saved “5,15kg CO2 eq and 13.795 liters of water” per sneaker – although it’s unclear compared to what, exactly.

“I wanted to create a truly sustainable fashion brand and I believed the most sustainable thing to do was to stop using natural resources in a careless way to ensure those of the next generation,” explains ECOALF founder and president Javier Goyeneche on the brand’s website. It’s an outlook shared by the PIÑATEX® team – and surely the Ananas Anam company as a whole – who note in an Instagram post announcing the launch that the material is “created with consideration to our planet’s natural resources, made through the most water, land and energy efficient process.”

It is a collection built on a common foundational principle: that, as the PIÑATEX® post says, “Our value for the planet and mutual respect for all nature.”

100% handmade in Spain, the PIÑATEX® x ECOALF collection is available now, directly from ECOALF, from $170 USD to $230 USD. And if you’re interested in hearing more about the potential of pulp, go beyond the pineapple and check out our deep-dive into the world of fruit-based leather.