Cutting out leather from your wardrobe makes sense on several levels – recent findings uncovered just how horrific the industry is for humans as well as animals. Moved by environmental concerns as well as animal rights, ethical fashion brands are looking into new ways to create leather-look collections without harming the earth, with unexpectedly creative results. Case in point: London-based Bourgeois Boheme‘s newest foray into Pinatex.
What exactly is Pinatex?
According to Ananas Anam, the brand who actually created the material, it’s a natural, sustainable, non-woven textile created from pineapple leaf fibres. We’re talking waste fibres, so this is an eco effort in more ways than one. The fibres are the by-product of the pineapple harvest, meaning that no extra land, fertilisers, water or pesticides are needed to produce them. The production also provides an additional income source for pineapple farmers.
Why should vegans care about Pinatex?
Because this is one of the exciting developments that mean that faux leather can become a much more planet-friendly product than the pleather of the past could ever dream of being. We no longer have to choose between living cruelty-free or eco-friendly. We can have our (egg-free) cake and eat it too.
Bourgeois Boheme’s collection
To enhance the leather-like look and properties of Pinatex and interpret the innovative material in a stylish and wearable way, Bourgeois Boheme tapped into British heritage, elegant lines and dapper detailing both for men and women. A number of the artisan-made flats, heels, brogues and ankle boots offered by the sustainable label are for the first time available in Pinatex – three women’s designs and three models for men.
“We chose to use Pinatex for this SS17 season as it was a great natural and innovative alternative to vegan leather and which differentiates our sustainable offering of timeless and modern shoes,” says the brand’s Marketing and PR Officer Sophie Yannouris. “The material is also gaining ground on the red carpet with Livia Firth wearing a Pinatex dress at the Met Gala this week . The production of the material also helps communities in the Philippines which is very important to us too to know that we are helping pineapple farmers grow their business.”
“We invest a lot of our time finding new materials to use for our shoes either for the whole upper or for details on our shoes,” continues Sophie. “This SS17 season we have used cork for a unisex sneaker, the Kim, which also has recycled soles and organic cotton laces. For next season we are using an eco-slate stone material for some details on our shoes and we are also sampling apple leather to try on our styles. There are so many alternatives to leather In the market at the moment and it is really important for us to be an innovative company that cares about sustainability, ethics but also innovates in the shoe industry.”
The women’s designs that Bourgeois Boheme is releasing in Pinatex are the sleek ankle boot Annie, the cross-over slip-on Victoria and the minimalist slip-on sandal Felicity. For men, the Pinatex styles are desert boot Noel and Chelsea boot Keith. Versatile and stylish, these designs are a perfect addition to a forward-thinking wardrobe.
A modern take on timeless British design, Bourgeois Boheme have for years been leaders in bringing eco-friendly vegan accessories to a growing market of conscious consumers, and this season is no different. Aside from Pinatex uppers, other sustainable textiles used in the brand’s SS17 collection are recycled, seed-based materials from food-free crops used in the linings. Sleek and wearable, this is a line that will support your wardrobe for many seasons to come.