"I can't believe it's not leather".
It's something we hear often when people get to see and touch our Pinatex bags and accessories. We feel for the people who make this statement, because it almost always leads to us taking over their day/night with facts and differences between the two.
You might be surprised to know that there were a lot of others reasons behind why we chose Pinatex, other than it's non-animal and non-environmentally harming benefits.
So. Pinatex v's Leather; THE SHOWDOWN.
The original v's the newcomer.
The known v's the unknown.
The fashion staple v's the fashion underdog.
Why we chose Pinatex over Leather...
It wasn't just a choice of Pinatex over leather, but rather finding a material that was 'plant based' and gentle on the environment through the production process.
We spent a lot of time researching, sending emails, making calls and knocking on suppliers doors to find materials - then testing them. It still makes us laugh that we tried banana leather, yes banana leather does exist.
We also spent a lot of time looking into pleather/PU/faux-leather alternatives as well. What we found is that while production of these man-made synthetic materials has improved over the years, the emissions through production and the fact that there is no positive 'end-of-life' plan, they are still incredibly harmful to the Planet. So that was a massive No No.
So after all the natural materials were put through 'stretch, tear and wear' tests, we found our first winner: Pinatex.
Pinatex offers the same known leather-like aesthetics, whilst not being something drastically alien and unknown to the market. It's a slow process to shake up the fashion industry, so we didn't want to jump the gun with something like mushroom leather. Yep, it's a thing, and something we are actually currently working on, so watch this space.
Aside from the ol' dead animal factor in the production of leather, there are also a lot of toxic chemicals used in the tanning process, which have terrible impacts on the workers health in the factories. Pinatex uses no harmful chemicals in its production. Big thumbs up for animals, humans and the environment.
Leather production also requires other resources from our homegirl Mother Nature - starting from the feed, water and land required for animals to grow, the emissions they give off [read: farts] and more resources in order to create the final 'product'.
With Pinatex, no additional resources of water are required, the pineapple fruit already exists and is already farmed [we can hear you all saying that cows for meat are already farmed and we're rolling our eyes at that comment].
In fact, Pinatex has quite the positive environmental impact as 'bio-mass' is produced through the production process. This 'bio-mass' can then be converted into organic fertiliser or bio-gas, and sold. Therefore, both the extraction of the fibres, and the production of bio-mass can provide additional revenue streams to pineapple farming communities. How cool is that?!
So why did we choose Pinatex over Leather (or any other faux leather material)?
Because Pinatex is a do-gooder that just keeps giving, until there's literally nothing left of it.
Waste not, want not.