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Pineapple leaves repurposed for leather alternative

Dole Sunshine Company has partnered with Ananas Anam to turn pineapple plant leaves into a natural textile.

London-based Ananas Anam develops innovative plant-based textiles and is the company behind Piñatex — a leather alternative made from sustainably sourced pineapple leaf fibres. Via the partnership with Dole, fibres will be collected from harvested pineapple plant leaves on Dole’s pineapple plantations in the Philippines. The fibres are dried and processed to create a non-woven mesh to form the base of Piñatex.

The initiative represents a step towards Dole’s commitment to achieve zero fruit loss by 2025 and contributes to the availability of sustainable material alternatives, which are becoming increasingly important to global lifestyle brands.

Dole launched a six-prong Promise in June 2020, announcing its dedication to making an immediate and lasting impact when it comes to food waste, eliminating processed sugar and plastics, and improving nutrition access globally.

“At Dole, we believe purpose — and therefore our Promise — must permeate everything we do to address these global challenges head on. Addressing food waste is absolutely important to us, as it is connected to our business and our lives in so many ways,” Dole Sunshine Company Global President Pier-Luigi Sigismondi said.

“I believe to create tangible solutions and real systemic change to address this issue, we need to converge our purpose with creativity, innovation and technology. Our partnership with Ananas Anam coupled with global lifestyle brands’ use of this innovation truly bring this convergence to life in a new way.”

The use of pineapple leaf fibres presents an opportunity to build a scalable commercial industry for developing farming communities, and livelihood improvement for small-scale cooperatives and growers.

“At Ananas Anam, we aim at meeting the challenges of our times by developing innovative products in which commercial success is integrated with, and promotes, social, ecological and cultural development,” said Dr Carmen Hijosa, Ananas Anam Founder and Chief Creative and Innovation Officer.

Ananas Anam CEO Melanie Broye-Engelkes added, “Through our partnership with Dole, our entity in the Philippines will access a much larger volume of pineapple leaf fibres, to meet the ever-increasing demand for Piñatex not only in fashion, but also in the upholstery and automotive sectors. Working closely with Dole’s teams on the ground will help us to create a wider positive social impact among farming communities and to continuously reduce our environmental footprint by valorising waste at scale.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Jenifoto

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