“Design is not just about product. Design is about responsibility.”
–Dr. Carmen Hijosa, founder and CEO of Ananas Anam, the creator of Piñatex
Welcome to the Golden Age of cruelty-free shoes and accessories! It took a while to get here (and there’s still work to do) but we have finally, mercifully, arrived!
It’s not lost on us that the distinguished host ushering us into this new era is an innovative faux leather made from pineapple leaves. An international symbol of hospitality, the pineapple is the perfect way to welcome even the non-vegans among us to the world of sustainable, cruelty-free style.
To go directly to the cool shoes and accessories made with Piñatex at the bottom of this article, simply click these links:
Piñatex is the inspiration of Dr. Carmen Hijosa, a former consultant to the leather industry. While on a business trip to the Philippines in the ‘90s, she witnessed the amount of toxic chemicals used in leather production and their impact on workers and the environment. She knew that something had to change.
Leather is problematic at every stage of its product lifecycle, from the cruelty to animals who are exploited for their skin, to its toxic production process, and finally, to the disposal of leather goods after we’re done with them. Because skin is a biological material, it’s meant to decompose. Leather is treated with chemicals to prevent this natural process from occurring, so contrary to popular belief, leather is not a biodegradable material.
On her travels, Dr. Hijosa was inspired by the Philippine locals who made clothing out of plant fibers. And while touring pineapple plantations, she was struck by the amount of pineapple leaves that were discarded as agricultural waste.
These experiences led her to develop Piñatex, which is a non-woven material that is environmentally sustainable. Ananas Anam, the parent company of Piñatex, of which Dr. Hijosa is CEO, subscribes to circular economy and cradle-to-cradle principles. Not only is Piñatex vegan and eco-friendly, it also provides scalable commercial business opportunities for rural farming communities.
The Sustainable, Cradle-to-Cradle Lifecycle of Products Made from Piñatex
Here’s a great video from Ananas Anam on how Piñatex is made:
And now for the cool shoes and accessories!
Planet Guests creates ethical, vegan shoes and accessories in sustainable materials like cork and Piñatex. These loafer-style sneakers, or boat shoes, come in black, white, or gold.
Eco-conscious and ethical footwear company Bourgeois Boheme creates sustainable, vegan shoes by hand in their workshop in Portugal.
These adorable vegan baby moccasins were too cute to leave off this list! Visit Tender Toes’ Etsy store to see even more.
Minimalist design team Eve and Adis creates sustainable accessories in their workshop in Berlin. This backpack is also available in black.
Maniwala is a U.S.-based creator of sustainable, vegan accessories that are made from hemp and Piñatex pineapple leather. Maniwala is member of 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of sales revenue to environmental non-profits.
Maravillas Bags creates a number of different styles of vegan bags, including handbags, clutches, duffel bags, and more – all in vegan pineapple leather! Visit their store on Etsy to see more.
This ultra-slim card wallet by Maniwala will hold a few credit cards, bills, and your driver’s license, while fitting easily in your back pocket.
Wonder Women of the World is a mission-based organization based in Paris that helps women who are out work learn new skills and get back on their feet. All of their creations are ethical and cruelty-free. This 100% vegan card holder will hold a couple credit cards and your driver’s license. It measures: 4” x 2.4”
Camille Vegan Bags offers a wide variety of non-leather bags made from Piñatex. Check out their Etsy story to see them all!
Maravillas Bags is another 100% vegan accessories company that only creates sustainable products. Be sure to visit their Etsy shop to see their whole collection.
This vegan laptop case is another creation by the minimalist design team Eve and Adis. It comes in gold, black, or bone white.
This black laptop sleeve, also designed by Maniwala, is 100% vegan and made in the USA. It has a soft, vegan hemp fabric lining.
And for your most important accessory of all – your cell phone – of course, we’ve got some pineapple leather for that too. These sustainable cell phone sleeves, also created by Eve and Adis, come in black, bone white, and gold. Eve and Adis will create a case to fit your specific phone. Just reach out to them via their store on Etsy.