Reading Time: < 1 minute 'Hijosa has shown how innovation can deliver sustainable alternatives' Credit: Piñatex
Reading Time: < 1 minute

A brand making vegan leather from pineapples has been nominated for a prestigious award. 

Piñatex, created by Spanish entrepreneur Carmen Hijosa, is a finalist for the European Investor Award 2021 – organized by the European Patent Office (EPO).

Vegan pineapple leather

The Vogue-approved company was commercialized  through a 2013-founded start-up called Ananas Anam.

Since then, it has been used by almost 3,000 brands in 80 different countries, including fashion giant H&M and car brand Skoda. Piñatex was also featured in the world’s first all-vegan hotel suite.

Hijosa launched the brand while working as a textile design consultant in the Phillippines. 

She says she was ‘shocked’ by the working conditions of leather tanneries, as well as leather’s impact on the planet

“She immediately shifted her business focus and was motivated to develop a sustainable textile that better used Filipino skills and raw materials,” EPO said.

“Inspired by the pineapple leaf fibres that have been used in the Philippines for 300 years in traditional hand-woven textiles… She decided to make these leaves into a mesh to replicate the knot of collagen fibres found in leather.”

‘Sustainable alternatives’

Moreover, António Campinos is the President of EPO. According to the Evening Standard, he said: “Hijosa has shown how innovation can deliver sustainable alternatives.

“The past year has highlighted more than ever the importance of scientists, researchers, inventors, and entrepreneurs in advancing technology and improving our lives.”

The winner of the European Investor Award 2021 will be announced on June 17

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.