Pinatex? Pineapple Leather? The Ultimate Guide!

Pinatex? Pineapple Leather? The Ultimate Guide!

Pinatex? PinaWHO? Ever heard of pineapple leather? The ultimate guide to sustainable and cruelty free vegan leather.

What Is Pineapple Leather?

Honestly, I had never heard of pineapple leather, also known as Pinatex until very recently. If someone had told me, their shoes were made of pineapples, I may have laughed thinking it was some weird joke that I really didn’t understand! How can such a sweet, delicious fruit be made into clothing? Well it isn’t the actual sweet part of the fruit, pineapple leather is made from the leaves which makes a lot more sense!

Upon research, I’ve learnt so much about about how pineapple can be used in ways other than just cooking. Just to give you some background, Pinatex was developed over many years of research and development by Dr. Carmen Hijosa. Carmen saw that the use of pineapple leaf fibre which is typically an agricultural waste product, provided the opportunity to build an industry for developing farming communities, with only slight environmental impact.

How was Pineapple Leather Discovered?

This all started back in the 1990, when Dr Carmen Hijosa was consulting on the leather export trade.

“Shocked at the environmental impact of mass leather production and chemical tanning she realised this could not continue, but knew that PVC alternatives were not the solution. She was driven to research a sustainable alternative. Inspired by the abundance of natural resources, including the use of plant fibres in traditional weaving such as the delicate Barong Tagalog garments, Carmen sought to create a new, non-woven textile that could be commercially produced, provide positive social and economic impact and maintain a low environmental footprint throughout its life cycle.”Ananas Anam

How Is Pineapple Leather Made?

Piñatex is created by binding the long fibres from pineapple leaves together to create a non-woven substrate. These leaves are normally left to rot after fruit is harvested, but Pinatex repurposes them to make leather. The leaves from the pineapple are cut up first as well as layered, before they go through the industrialization process. Pinatex can be dyed any colour and has a weirdly close resemblance to animal leather.

Is Pinatex Biodegradeable?

Pinatex unfortunately isn’t 100% biodegradable, as it is petroleum based, however Aananas-Anam are working on it. On the flip side to that, Pinatex  is created from pineapple leaves that are the byproduct of existing agriculture. Their use also creates an additional income stream for farming communities.

Why Should We Use Leather Alternatives?

pinatex pineapple leather

There are a number of reasons why consumers and companies are trying to find alternatives to leather. The one that first springs to mind is animal suffering for their skin. However, as well as leather posing an ethical issue, it does also cause an environmental one. The process that stops animal skin from rotting to turn it into leather, means that huge amounts of toxic chemicals are used. These toxic chemicals generally end up in water supplies as well as soil.

In comparison to real leather, Piñatex is a cruelty-free and sustainable option.

What Can Be Made From Pinatex?

Over the years, Pinatex has gained huge popularity. Not only is Pinatex used in clothing, you’ll find it in shoes, watches, accessories and even home furnishings! YES, I said home furnishings. I can’t wait to see what else Pinatex will be used for in the future. Here’s just a few brands that are using Pinatex:

  • H&M – They have launched their conscious exclusive collection, which has introduced the use of Pinatex in their clothing. They have also launched two other materials, which they’ve never used before. One of them being Bloom foam which is a flexible foam that comes from algae biomass. The second is Orange Fibre, which is a silk like fabric that comes from citrus juice by products.
  • Votch – This is a London based vegan friendly watch company. They have a range of watches, where the straps are fully constructed from Pinatex.
  • Tamasine Osher Design – London based artisan furniture company that creates one-off and limited edition bold pieces. They have created an incredible spider chair, which is made from Pinatex.
  • Hugo Boss – This German Luxury Fashion Brand have designed a vegan shoe range, which are made from Pinatex and they are 100% vegan. They come in a number of colours, go check out the range.

It’s amazing that there are so many vegan alternatives in the age that we live in, and I’m determined to try them all out! If you want to understand a bit more about vegan fashion, go check out this blog.

Let me know in the comments below your favourite vegan leather..

Ami x

What Is Vegan Clothing?

What Is Vegan Clothing?

This article will help you understand what vegan clothing is and how to identify whether the clothing you are buying is vegan.

When you decide to turn vegan, you first transition to a vegan diet generally. If you’re anything like myself, you’ve also looked into sustainable living which includes cruelty free beauty, sustainable fashion and zero waste living. It’s pretty simple when cutting out meat and dairy, however it’s not so clear cut when it comes to vegan clothing. I’m here to make it that one step easier!

So, What Exactly Is Vegan Clothing then?

In short, vegan clothing is keeping animals off your body and out of your closet. Over time, more and more of us are ditching wool, fur and leather in the hope of finding just as great cruelty free alternatives. There are vegan clothing brands which are always coming up, which use innovative materials as well as existing materials to create cruelty free clothing.

Why Should I Care About Whether My Clothing Is Vegan?

Until very recently, I didn’t question what materials went into my clothing. The only things that I cared about was whether they looked great and fitted my body well. I never questioned the harm to the animals that went into the clothing I wore. Most production which involves animals is so cruel. Sadly, companies most the time care about creating products fast, rather than ethics.

What Should Vegans Not Be Wearing?

It’s crazy when I researched into vegan clothing and found out how many pieces of clothing actually contain animal materials. In my head, prior to research I only really thought of leather, snake skin and fur as non vegan products.

Here are some more to look out for:

  • Silk (Comes from Silkworms)
  • Angora (Rabbit Fur)
  • Suede (Comes from a number of animal skins)
  • Down (Feathers which are used in a number of winter jackets for warmth)
  • Cashmere (Goats hair)

Does buying Second Hand Clothing Make My Clothing Vegan?

No, as second hand clothes can also have animal products within them. Buying second hand is touching on buying more sustainably rather than vegan. You should be especially careful of vintage clothing as using animal trims and details were very common in the past. The older your clothing is, the more likely it is to be made from animals.

What Exactly Can Vegans Wear?

First of all, the best material has to be cotton as it is so readily available for vegans. Majority of clothing products have been made from cotton. Other Vegan fibers include:

  • Linen
  • Polyster
  • Lycra
  • Spandex
  • Bamboo
  • Pvc
  • Nylon
  • Cork
  • Acrylic
  • Denim

Of course, this does involve you looking at the label and checking the exact material included in clothes. There are number of sustainable and vegan brands out there. Let me know if you want a list in the comments below and I’ll write another blog for you all. A few of my favourite vegan brands include Beyond Skin, Ruby Moon and Stella McCartney.

My personal aim is to shop sustainably as well as vegan. If you’re unsure about what sustainable fashion is, go check out my latest blog which explains the three pillars of sustainable fashion.

Ami x

Mulberry Have Banned Exotic Skins In Future Collections

Mulberry Have Banned Exotic Skins In Future Collections

AMAZING NEWS! Mulberry has confirmed that it’s finally banned exotic skins from all of its future collections. Is the timing just coincidental with the Coronavirus Pandemic or is there a link between the exotic skin ban and the pandemic?

Mulberry is already fur free, which is great but exotic skins is where they really needed to make a change. Finally, it’s happening. The upcoming spring/summer collection marks the company’s departure from using exotic animal skins.  Advice from conservation experts have  warned that the exotic skin trade could increase the spread of COVID-19, hence the decision.

Mulberry Group sustainability manager, Rosie Wollacott, said: “[W]e have spent a lot of time determining and then continually reviewing our sustainability metrics and targets.

“At an early stage of this process, we decided not to use exotics in our collections, and this remains our position.”

Has the Pressure Mulberry have faced, impacted their decision?

As well as Canada Goose, Mulberry has also faced pressure from the animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).They have pushed them to stop selling exotic skins and finally they are making a change. Whether or not, this change has come from PETA, the public or the pandemic it is hard to tell.

What is the link between Animal Skin and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

While the ethics behind using animal skins in fashion has become the center of attention in recent years, the use has come under further scrutiny in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus is widely believed to have originated from a wet market in Wuhan, China. Since then, it has spread globally killing over 250,000! The intensive farming of exotic animals for both their flesh as well as their skin poses a similar risk of animal-to-human transmission of newly evolved viruses. Exotic-animal farms are breeding grounds for pathogens and increase the risk of future pandemics. Yikes! So yes the spread of Coronavirus would have had an impact on the decision that Mulberry have decided to make but let’s not forget about the animal suffering.

Animal Suffering Calls For Change

There are so many exotic skins, one of the main ones being alligator. Alligators are kept in decaying water inside dark sheds before their necks are split open and metal rods are shoved into their heads in an attempt to scramble their brains, often while they’re fully conscious. Watch the below video, to witness the harsh reality of what these animals have to go through.

I think it’s really important to not forget, that these animals suffer tremendously for that handbag that you ‘NEED.’ Can you live with that on your conscious?

Are Mulberry the First to Ban Exotic Skins?

No, Mulberry is not the first and will definitely not be the last. Mulberry’s decision to stop using exotic skins sees it joining a number of big names. These include Chanel, Victoria Beckham, Vivienne Westwood, and others. Earlier this year, Paul Smith have announced that they will be banning all use of skins in their future collections.

In all honesty, before I turned vegan I was gifted/purchased a number of Mulberry bags. I never really questioned where they came from and I was blissfully unaware. I now face a dilemma. Should I keep them? I can’t reverse the impact of animal suffering. They’re also super expensive, not that money is more important than the life of an animal though!

What would you do, if you were me? Comment below and let me know!

Ami x

What is Sustainable Fashion?

What is Sustainable Fashion?

How Can Fashion Be Sustainable?

First things first, let’s understand what sustainable fashion is. Sustainability means ‘meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs‘ (definition given in 1987 by the United Nations’ Brundtland Commission.)

Ok, so now you may be wondering how does fashion have any impact on sustainability? Fashion has a huge impact on sustainability in SO many ways! Did you know that the global clothing and footwear industry accounts for 8% of the World’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions? Sustainable fashion has a number of areas:

  • How garments are designed
  • Which materials are used and how they are sourced, 
  • How efficiently energy and water are used in factories
  • Worker’s conditions
sustainable fashion

Sustainable fashion is the umbrella term and has 3 main pillars: Eco-fashion, Ethical Fashion & Slow Fashion.

Eco-Fashion

Eco-fashion prioritises the planet! It refers to the garments impact on the environment, and the carbon footprint associated with that item. Eco-fashion is when you start taking a look into the materials used as well as any other water and resources. This even continues to the making, packaging and transportation the item has on the planet, There are a number of eco-friendly fabrics which include linen, hemp, organic wool, organic cotton and bamboo.

Ethical Fashion

Ethical Fashion is an umbrella term to describe ethical fashion design, production, retail, and purchasing. It covers a range of issues such as working conditions, exploitation, fair trade, sustainable production, the environment, and animal welfare. ‘- V&A Museum

In short, ethical fashion is the recognition that there are human beings behind the clothes that we wear. Brands who fall under the ethical fashion umbrella, recognise and respect every single person involved in turning raw materials, into wearable clothes hanging in your wardrobe. These brands ensure individuals are paid fairly for their skills. Not only that they are paid fairly, also that they work in safe environments, and are appreciated for their talents as human beings, rather than just a part in the supply chain.

Large brands, have been exposed countless times for underpaying and overworking their employees in factory settings. Do you really think that £3 vest top you purchased, was made in an ethical way and shipped cross country whilst making a profit? Nor do I. Something has to give and a lot of the time it is the working conditions and pay for those making the products in poorer countries.

Slow Fashion

Slow fashion is a reaction again fast fashion. Fast fashion is the cheap, clothing that is mass produced without concern for the environment as well as the impact on human welfare. Examples of companies that practice fast fashion include Pretty Little Thing, Asos and Missguided. I’m guilty with every single one of them. There’s always a new style, which goes out of fashion a couple of months later but at the time you looked great. What happens to that item afterwards? Mine just end up sitting in my wardrobe ,until it one day may come back into fashion.

Slow fashion is amazing for many reasons – one of them being that it can motivate you to live more intentionally. Slow Fashion also focuses on timeless pieces that you can use today and in 10 years. Their are some basics in my own wardrobe, which I’ve had for years on end as they’re timeless pieces. You just need to focus on quality over quantity, as the best quality items will last a lot longer than that £5 dress you got from Fashion Nova in a sale.

You Decide How You Want To Live

You can argue that every item you buy will have an impact on the environment, but the only way to combat that would be to go naked! Which I really don’t recommend.. There has to be somewhere where you draw the line and I think that would be taking it too far.

Rather than not buying clothes, I do recommend only buying items from sustainable brands when needed, also buying timeless pieces as well as popping into second hand shops.. You never know what you could find!

When I turned vegan, I never imagined I would change the way I shopped in terms of buying only cruelty free beauty products and sustainable fashion. The more I learn, the more I’m driven to make a change. I’m currently in a transition phase where this is my next step, now that I’ve mastered the food phase!

Let me know if you shop from sustainable brands in the comments below..

Ami x

Canada Goose is Ditching Virgin Fur, but Is It Enough?

Canada Goose is Ditching Virgin Fur, but Is It Enough?

Canada Goose is Ditching Virgin Fur For good

Canada goose is finally getting rid of it’s coyote fur trims, which has been made as a pledge as part of a sustainability drive. They have announced they will stop using virgin fur from 2022. They also plan to buy back fur from its customers’ coats for recycling. This means that they will no longer be supporting coyote trapping in Europe and North America.

They have rightfully received a lot of pressure from animal rights campaigners over its use of fur, down, and treatment of animals. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has petitioned for Canada Goose to ditch fur products for decades.

According to Canada Goose, the decision made was not in response to the campaigns and petition.

“We’re absolutely not switching for any other reason than we believe switching from new fur to reclaimed fur makes something sustainable more sustainable,” Dani Reiss, the group’s chief executive told the Financial Times.

Real Fur is Cruel

At the moment, cruelty can be found in every stitch of Canada Goose’s jackets and other clothing items. Coyotes used for the fur trim of the jacket, suffer in steel traps. They are then shot or beat to death! It’s honestly revolting the way they are killed and mother’s that are trapped and want to get back to their kids end up chewing off their own limbs.

Watch this video below, which shows what really happens to these coyotes.

The cruelty that these coyotes go through, just for a a strip of fur on a jacket is disgusting. It is great that Canada Goose are moving in the right direction but..

Is It Enough?

This move can be seen to many, including myself as brainwashing the public. As well as coyotes being killed for a fur trim, there are duck and geese whose throats are still being slit for feathers which are used in their parkas.

Canada Goose have no intentions to give up fur for virgin animal products entirely. They also plan to still insulate jackets with virgin down geese feathers, so in my opinion, no it is not enough.

Comment below and let me know your opinion..

Ami x