Neither a cool converse nor a leather, its Pinatex

Mumbai-based Studio Beej is set to introduce an evening clutch made of pineapple fibre. Earlier international labels like Chanel, H&M, Hugo Boss, and Nike have also launched pineapple fibre based accessories.

As fashion labels look for sustainable alternatives for the raw materials to be used in the product line, fibres from pineapple leaves are one of the more surprising materials used by many top brands in making a host of other products like clothes, bags and upholstery.

Offering Pinatex accessories line which includes wallets, clutches, bags, belts, laptop sleeves made of bio-based-materials the Beej studio based out of Mumbai is disposed to marry the aesthetic of Indian craft with the ethical practices of conscious living.

The studio has joined the league of international names like Chanel, H&M, Hugo Boss, and Nike — who recently launched the seven-sneaker Happy Pineapple Collection that work with the plant-based alternative to leather. However this is not the first time when  has  experimented with Piñatex. Last year, they experimented on a range of bags such as  cross body bag (Laya), a hobo bag (Ananta), and Ditya.

Pinatex fibre are put through an industrial process after their extraction from pineapple leaves then at the end of which emerges the textile. A byproduct of the process is a biomass which can be converted into fertiliser, giving additional income to the farmers.

With treatment, the Piñatex has stark resemblance with the upside of being lightweight and can be produced in various degrees of thicknesses depending on the use of the finished product. For more heavy wearing items, such as bags, a thicker material will be required. Besides, it is also naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial.

Inspired by the  Desserto is vegan leather derived from the Nopal Cactus of Mexico, and Khesh is made from old cotton saris torn into thin strips and re-woven to make a colourful fabric. The linings of the bags are sourced from Bengaluru-based organisation Khaloom, which produces handloom material from recycled yarn, and occasionally upcycled material from discarded umbrellas is also used. A Japanese has provided the zipper, which makes them from recycled PET plastic, and the logos are then embroidered.”

Sustainability is going to be the new norm of  luxury brand hence the studio is also contemplating other alternatives like  Malai from Kerala, made from coconut waste, and Mirum from the US that combines natural fibers like corn and rice husk with rubber waste. 

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