Translations

PINATEX, the valorization of an agricultural waste.

4. Environment

Waste management

Context

A Royal College of Art (London)-backed start-up, Ananas Anam Ltd, established in 2013, has developed Piñatex®, a natural plant-based and versatile material from a sustainable source. Piñatex follows a strong social and ecological agenda and can be mass-produced, making it a cost-effective textile and alternative to leather.
Piñatex is patent-protected and can be used in fashion, footwear, accessories, upholstery and automotive industries. Similar to Gore-Tex®, Piñatex is a branded material with an identifiable logotype.


Ananas Anam has integrated the circular economy concept since its foundation, by giving economic value to a waste. 13 m tons of leaves waste is generated every year in the Philippines by pineapple plantation and about 54 m tons worldwide. In Philippines, this waste was partially used as mulch, back into the ground, and there is not an estimation of the impact that it may cause. Ananas-Anam uses pineapple leaf fibre to produce Piñatex (a non-woven material). The pineapple leaf fibres that are used on the production of Piñatex represents 2% of the waste. The discarded part can be used as fertiliser and it is easier to degrade as compost under specific conditions. So, in this way economic value is adding to a waste.


Piñatex is an innovative patented ethically produced new material in the same commercial scope as leather and its PU (from fossil fuels) PVC derived alternatives. Provide a high-performance material able to compete economically in the market can help to reduce the use of non-degradable plastics that are one big problem for the environment nowadays.

Objectives

Ananas Anam is the company behind Piñatex, and its objectives can be summarized in the company’s vision and mission: to reduce the environmental impact generated by the textile industry: 

  • The production line is designed to reduce the generated waste and save raw material and energy.
  • All the production needs are based on fair trade economy principles, with every single person that forms part of the creation of Piñatex getting fair wages, (from the pineapple farmers to Ananas Anam factory partners).
  • Increase the biodegradability of the final product and the valorization of the resulting waste, is an intrinsic part of on-going R&D work.

APPROACH

Realising the huge social and environmental negative impact created by the Fashion Industry was key in looking for new ways to develop more sustainable materials, as an alternative to leather and PU derived substitutes. In addition, the acquired knowledge from working with Filipino farmers and weavers, into their ways of using natural fibres, was the start of the development of a unique nonwoven textile made from pineapple leaf fibres, the waste of the pineapple harvest, which after 10 years of R&D resulted in a new material: Piñatex.


Piñatex is the result of the valorisation of a waste, and the use of renewable materials as main components of the final product. Piñafelt, its nonwoven base, is 100% biodegradable. Piñatex encapsulates social, economic and ecological responsibilities.
The initial breakthrough came about from developing partnerships with pineapple farming co-operatives, local industry and research partners. This was made possible thanks to the help from the Philippine government supplying the farmers with semi-automated decorticating machines to extract the pineapple leaf fibres, to be able to extract and supply the fibres in an easier way.


Recently Ananas Anam has invested in a fully automatic decorticating machine, which will make the process safer for the workers and will help increase the production to an industrial scale.
Ananas Anam is also looking for the best way of reusing the waste generated in the fibre extraction, the biomass. This can be used not only as compost but also as biogas source, which in turn could be used as the energy source in the fibre processing plant. This would again valorise the waste and reduce the carbon footprint.

CONTRIBUTION TO COMPANY PERFORMANCE

Over the past 2 years of trading, Ananas Anam has received over 900 paid production and sample orders across the fashion, accessories, bags, footwear, upholstery and automotive industries.
New additional farmers’ communities in the Philippines are collaborating with Ananas Anam year-after-year and other pineapple-producing countries such as Costa Rica or Indonesia are opening their doors for the production of Pinatex.

The business will break-even in 2019 and finish the year with an EBITDA of c.£138 k. The company has attracted about £2.0m of funding from private investors and financial institutions since its creation.

Ananas Anam has been the receipting of a number of awards

  • 2015 2016 Cartier's Woman Initiative Awards
  • 2016 Cartier’s 2016 Arts Foundation Award for Materials Innovation
  • 2016 InnovateUK Women in Innovation Award
  • 2018 MODA-FAD Fashion innovation merit Award

Benefits

The production of Piñatex  has a positive impact in rural, agricultural communities. 

  • Farmers get about 2€ per m2 of material (400gm of fibre aprox). As such, one of the most important social benefits is the creation of job opportunities for farming communities; which then reflects and strengthens the local social networks and communities.


Environmental impact:

  • Piñatex uses primarily natural materials, thus reducing the environmental impact caused by its production.
  • Piñatex uses a natural fibre that comes from a waste. It reduces the huge waste generated by the pineapple agriculture
  • Collaboration with other pineapple producing countries, so the benefits that Piñatex brings to society will spread throughout the world.
Workforce
10
Turnover
€642k
Country
United Kingdom

Mise à jour le 09/10/2018

Creative Commons Attribution This work by Réseau Alliances – World Forum Lille is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.