Carmen Hijosa on creating Pinatex (a non-woven textile made from pineapple leaves).
Play • 51 min

Carmen Hijosa is the creator of Pinatex, a new, non-woven textile made from pineapple leaves. 

After finishing a PhD in textiles at the Royal College of Art, she founded her company, Ananas Anam. And subsequently, the new material has been specified by brands such as Hugo Boss, Chanel, and Mango for bags, shoes and clothes. It has even been used for a vegan hotel suite at the Hilton Hotel Bankside.

Meanwhile, Pinatex production offers additional income to more than 700 families from farming communities and cooperatives in the Philippines, where the pineapple leaves are collected. 

None too surprisingly, she has won a slew of awards, including the Arts Foundation Material Innovation Prize and the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award.

In this episode we talk about: what Pinatex is and how it’s made; why she came up with the idea to create a non-woven textile from pineapple leaves; her background in the leather industry; the trip to the Philippines that changed her life; growing up in Spain and being a rebel at school; issues around the material’s end of life; starting her new foundation for children; and why the material brings out the best in people.

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