Saucony is the latest brand to jump on the alternative leather train. The US based footwear brand has partnered with Ananas Anam, which produces pineapple leather alternative Piñatex, to bring one of its models, re-made in a vegan version, to market.
The collaboration counts with the release of Saucony’s classic Jazz Court RFG made using the Piñatex alternative. The material is being used as a replacement for all elements of the shoe that would generally be made from leather. This alteration comes as one of Saucony’s most recent moves in its sustainability revamp. Besides the leather alternative, the new model features hemp laces and a mesh material which is also plant-based, giving the sneaker a more sustainable look and feel.
The Piñatex leather alternative is made by using the remains of the pineapple harvest. The plant leaves that are in good condition are bundled up with semi-automatic machines that collect the long fibers. These then go through a process of washing and drying to purify them and remove impurities. This results in a fluff-like material that is then transformed into a non-woven mesh and finally that is sent to Spain or Italy to be finished into the Piñatex material that is sold to companies.
“Piñatex was born with the loyal support of our many vegan and sustainable fashion brand partners, and has grown through the partnerships with large fashion groups,” Melanie Broyé-Engelkes, CEO of Ananas Anam, recently told vegconomist last year. “We are big believers in ‘changing giants from the inside’ to create impact at scale—by defining a joint roadmap to become more and more sustainable together, step by step.”
You can buy the new model on Saucony’s website.