Talk About Innovation! Designer Creates Faux Leather — with Pineapple Leaves? (Watch)

Purchasing leather goods isn’t exactly the most sustainable or animal-friendly thing consumers can do. But for those who want the look and feel of leather without the negative impact, there’s a new alternative out there. It might even be in your kitchen already.

Fashion designer Carmen Hijosa is using pineapple — yes, pineapple — to create a vegan leather product. Hijosa uses the unused leaves from pineapple farms, which also helps farmers in places like the Philippines reduce waste and use all of the pineapples they produce.

She extracts the fiber and then sends the material for chemical processing. Then companies can purchase the leather-like material to use in a variety of goods, from clothing to furniture.

An Example of Product Innovation

This ingenuity shows just how many opportunities there are out there for making use of products that might otherwise go to waste. Using those types of items can benefit the environment, appeal to more consumers, and sometimes even be less expensive to produce.

Even businesses that don’t use Hijosa’s pineapple leather can certainly benefit from this type of innovative thinking. The next time you’re trying to create a new product or solve a unique problem, think about how you might be able to use completely different materials or methods as shown in this example of product innovation. You might just be able to find something that works better in every way.

Image: Pinatex/Instagram

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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