Here at NAE, we pride ourselves on having a diverse range of sustainable materials to work with. Everything we use in our shoes has to be both durable and eco-friendly, so our criteria for selection is very discerning. Today, we're going to shine a light on our Piñatex material, something we are especially proud to use in our vegan shoes.
What is Piñatex?
Piñatex is the crowning jewel of our plant-based leather alternatives. Invented by the enterprising Dr Carmen Hijosa, Piñatex is a material created from a base of Piñafelt. In the pineapple farming industry, it's common for the excess leaves to be sliced off and burned. The company behind Piñatex pays for the farmers to process the leaves instead, extracting and de-gumming the structural fibres to use as an organic material base. Now, the farmers have an extra revenue stream, and what was once waste is transformed into a by-product. Special machines separate the fibre from the leaves, which are then dried in the open air. A felt is created from the cleaned fibres, and various coatings can be applied to transform it into different finishes of Piñatex. It's got all the toughness and durability you'd expect from animal leather, but is 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
Why do we Use Piñatex?
A better question would be, why wouldn't we use it? It's the perfect embodiment of everything we stand for at NAE. First of all, it's a plant-based fibre, meaning less plastic contribution, and ensuring it's vegan status. It also avoids the carbon emissions that would come from the burning of the leaves if they hadn't instead been used as fabric. It allows an otherwise wasteful part of the pineapple farming industry to go to good use, and without using up any food crops that could have been eaten otherwise. It's fully waste-reducing, and on top of all that, looks and performs great as a material for shoes. It's available in a wide range of colours, including metallic finishes, allowing for a large diversity of styles and uses. We just don't see the downside!
What do we Make from Piñatex?
We create a wide range of shoes from Piñatex, but today we're going to highlight a few specific products that show the versatility and quality of this great material.
This shoe is a low-top style vegan Sneakermade from a choice between white or black Piñatex, with a brown patch bearing our snazzy logo. This is accompanied by a sole to match, providing a pleasing contrast to the main upper colour. The shoe is carefully designed for the conscious consumer to feel comfortable and stylish in one package. A great choice for sightseeing around a new city, such as Lisbon, this 2023.
These sturdy vegan ankle boots were created in collaboration with Sea Shepherd, a marine protection organisation doing work all around the world to help preserve habitats, and eradicate illegal fishing. Every purchase helps to support their organisation, and provides you with the best in strong, durable footwear. This shoe is perfect for the deck of a ship, exploration as a sub-mariner, or perhaps just wandering the pier beside the sea. Made from a Piñatex upper, and lined with GOTS certified organic cotton, these boots are as comfortable as they are eco-friendly.
Basil is a woman's flat sandal with an attractive ankle strap and neat buckle, made of the finest Piñatex. Just as elegant as our vegan sandals hells, this less vertical entry in the Blooming collection provides more choices in airy, open footwear for the coming summer months. Ideal for the beach or the deck of a holiday home, Basil is often found alongside sunny smiles and salty sea air. Breathe it in, relax, and let yourself go.
We were glad to share a little info with you today about our Piñatex, it's a material we really love working with. As a company passionate about not just what we do, but the way we do it, shining a light on our practices is a point of pride we just can't pass up. If you enjoyed this little journey, be sure to check out our range of products made from Piñatex, you might just find the shoe for you nestling among our website.