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If the Shoe Fits, It May Be a Pineapple

Posted on October 12th, 2016 by in New Materials & Applications


By pineapplesupplyco [CC0 Public Domain], via pixabay

Reduce, reuse, and recycle is taken to a whole new level by Dr. Carmen Hijosa whose years of research in have led to the development of a new artificial leather material made from pineapple fibers.

As good stewards to our planet, it’s our responsibility to make the most of what nature provides with as little negative impact on the environment. Couple this with finding a commercial use for former agricultural waste or cast-offs from produce production delivers a winning strategy more manufacturers should emulate. This type of innovation is not just good for the environment, but also for the farming communities growing the fruit, giving them an additional revenue stream.

With more than 15 years as a designer and manufacturer of leather goods in the fashion industry, Ms. Hijosa’s research on pineapple fibers led her to the Philippines to refine her knowledge on production of natural fibers. Her investigation found that the long fibers found in pineapple leaves could be used to create a non-woven textile. Naming her innovation Piñatex™, this unique natural and sustainable textile is now available through the company Ananas Anam that she helped found.

The process involves gathering the pineapple leaves and separating the long fibers which are then used in creation of the textile mesh. The following video from the folks over at Newsy summarizes the overall process:

Looking closer at the constituent components of everyday materials can lead to breakthroughs such as those found by Ms. Hijosa. Work such as this provides inspiration for a new generation of engineers and scientists as they look to solve future challenges. Thinking functionally and taking a second look at the things we throw away today, can unlock endless possibilities.

What interesting or innovative things has your company done with manufacturing scrap? Tell us about your quest for unconventional knowledge and what it could mean for the future of your products or companies. Share your thoughts in the comments section below and don’t forget to follow us on your favorite social media channel.

All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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