Trash the leather and get your next designer tote bag cruelty-free. Here are 5 amazing vegan handbag brands that revolutionised the fashion scene. They have one thing in common : piñatex !
Piña is the Spanish word for pineapple. Piñatex is a PETA-certified leather alternative made from pineapple leaves. It is produced by felting pineapple leaf fibres together to create a non-woven substrate. Resilient like leather, Piñatex is breathable and flexible, making it ideal for bags, shoes and other accessories.
100% Sustainable at once
Piñatex® is one of those rare products of design thinking that hits all the sustainability buttons at once: it is a material that is completely cradle to cradle, it substitutes leather that has a very heavy environmental and welfare impact, and it brings new income streams to subsistence farmers, allowing them to fully utilise their crops. The implementation of Piñatex® will have far-reaching societal and environmental benefits.
Piñatex® is intended to be a sustainable alternative to the mass production of leather and pollutants, thus enabling a responsible choice for a better future. Made from natural wastes, with a low water use and reduced waste production, this material does not contain any harmful or animal chemicals. The Piñatex® production does not require any additional environmental resource and the surplus of biomass is saved to be used as fertilizer or biofuel by farmers.
Based in Cape Town, South Africa, WeAllShareRoots creates bags and purses featuring bright African prints. The brand only uses locally sourced trims and finishes.
WeAllShareRoots strives at a strong positive environmental impact:
- Development of a 100% vegan range
- Investment into a new and vibrant material for the future, Piñatex®
- Use of offcuts
- Choice of quality and long-lasting materials (leather, wood, cotton, etc.)( they are ditching the use of leather )
- Printing on recycled paper
These uniquely handcrafted, colorful African-inspired handbags make you fall in love at once. In a nutshell, this is what the brands and the bags are about:
- the warm colours of African fabrics: wax, shweshwe, kente
chic and easy-to-wear designs
responsible and ethical fashion
- the passion of a small, dynamic, French-South African company
Based in New York City, the company’s creative work started in the US and their tote bags were made in Kenya. The brand partnered with various businesses in Africa to create their unique handbags, jewelry, and home goods. The brand was founded by Ali Hewson and her husband Bono back in 2005. Tough the brand no longer exists, I thought, because of its beauty, it was worth mentioning & showing them here.
Even with firm capital behind, Edun, headquartered in Ireland for financial matters, had been in the red for several years. The fashion business in general is already extremely competitive, imagine being a player in a niche field.
The Edun team used to focus on social impact, responsible sourcing, and sustainability in order to create their ethical products.
Edun’s mission was to create long-term growth opportunities by working closely with artisans, manufacturers, and ‘community-based initiatives’ in Africa. The brand also partnered with organizations like Lulea in Kenya, IBABA in Rwanda, and Weavers Worth Enterprise in Kenya. These helped ensure that their products had a positive impact on their makers, as well as the continent at large. Each organization harnasses communities’ skills and helps individuals to create a sustainable source of income.
Edun considered sustainability a core value of their brand. The company worked with mills that take care to work with organic, biodegradable, and recycled materials. Also, these mills often prioritize water conservation, solar energy, and reducing the number of pesticides used.
Maniwala comes from the Filipino term, meaning ‘to believe’.
Not everything worth doing comes easy. But if you can believe it, you can make it real.
Maniwala is a modern American lifestyle brand, committed to leading the shift toward more responsible goods. They craft bags, apparel, and accessories – all made in the U.S.A. from animal-free, plastic-free materials. We’re committed to doing the least harm to people and planet, and making products that do the most good for you on your journey
For Maniwala it’s all about being light. Less on your back. Less on your mind. More focus on the experience. Not buying things you don’t need, and making sure what you do buy doesn’t do needless harm to people or planet. That’s what they’re after, so they work hard to make products that live up to that.
Maniwala has a limited range of products made from piñatex, hemp or a combination of these two vegan materials.
only sold through Amazon
More brands making piñatex tote bags that inspire us
Browsing the internet I happily found several other brands who make all sorts of bags using mainly piñatex.
Etsy sells several models from various brands .
Where to source the material ?
The above stories might be your source of inspiration. If you are a brand with a sustainable vision or aspiration, Ananas Anam sells a Piñatex® Swatch Card to get you off for a good start.
Ananas Anam was founded by Dr. Carmen Hijosa. Highly rewarded for being an ethical entrepreneur, her vision for a more sustainable future that connects people, environment and economy is what led her to invent & develop piñatex.
The journey of Piñatex® began while Carmen, trained as a leathergoods expert, was consulting on the Philippines leather export industry in the 1990’s. Shocked at the environmental impact of mass leather production and chemical tanning she realised this could not continue, but knew that PVC alternatives were not the solution. She was driven to research a sustainable alternative.
Inspired by the abundance of natural resources, including the use of plant fibres in traditional weaving such as the delicate Barong Tagalog garments, Carmen sought to create a new, non-woven textile that could be commercially produced, provide positive social and economic impact and maintain a low environmental footprint throughout its life cycle.
Her R & D over many years resulted in the vegan , sustainable fabric known as piñatex today.
My gratitude goes to WealthyAffiliates. Without their technical support and encouragement this website would not exist.