Dole enters partnership to make vegan leather from pineapple waste
Fresh produce multinational Dole has teamed up with U.K.-based Ananas Anam to transform Dole's pineapple waste into vegan leather.
Dole Sunshine has announced its new partnership with vegan textiles brand Ananas Anam, which developed the Piñatex leather product over many years of R&D.
The latest collaboration will see the waste from Dole’s giant pineapple farm being reused to make Piñatex.
The vegan leather alternative is made from sustainably sourced pineapple leaf fibers. Dole says that the new partnership is part of its goal to eradicate its fruit waste by 2025.
Dole's pineapple plantation is based in the Philippines and is the biggest of its kind. In the new partnership, Ananas Anam will collect Dole’s harvested pineapple plant leaves. They will then be processed to create a non-woven mesh to form the base of the Piñatex material.
In a video announcing the partnership, Dole explained that for every 1 ton of pineapple that is harvested, 3 tons of pineapple leaves are wasted. While some of the wasted leaves will be used as a fertilizer for the soil, whatever leaves are left will eventually decay and release CO2 into the atmosphere.
Additionally, this process will also offer new income streams for subsistence farmers in the Philippines and presents the opportunity to build a scalable commercial industry for developing farming communities.
Piñatex's innovative zero-waste process has already been used by global fashion brands such as Nike.
Following the announcement, Pier-Luigi Sigismondi, global president, Dole Sunshine Company, shared: “At Dole, we believe purpose – and therefore our Promise – must permeate everything we do to address these global challenges head-on."
“I believe to create tangible solutions and real systemic change to address this issue, we need to converge our purpose with creativity, innovation, and technology.”
In addition, Dr Carmen Hijosa, Founder and Chief Creative & Innovation Officer at Ananas Anam, commented: “At Ananas Anam, we aim at meeting the challenges of our times by developing innovative products in which commercial success is integrated with, and promotes social, ecological and cultural development."
“Working closely with Dole’s teams on the ground will help us to create a wider positive social impact among farming communities and to continuously reduce our environmental footprint by valorising waste at scale.”