Following five years of research, and her career in luxury leather goods, Hijosa experimented with using natural fibres extracted from the leaves of pineapples plants, known as Pinatex. Hijosa’s company Ananas Anam, which was founded earlier this year, specialises in developing textiles with a low environmental impact. By using natural fibres from pineapple harvests in the Philippines, no extra land, water fertilisers or chemicals are needed for production.
“There really are extraordinary fibres in the Philippines. The first fibres I came across more than 15 years ago were from the buntal palm, the sort that is used in cylindrical hats. But the pineapple is the finest of them all. It’s the Rolls-Royce of natural fibres.”
This natural material is the first completely sustainable alternative to leather – it’s also cheaper, softer and more breathable, which is ideal for the production of bags, footwear and furnishings. Samples of the vegan leather alternative are currently in manufacturing stage, but will be available in a number of colours and textures.