London-based largely entrepreneur who produced leather-based alternate from pineapple leaves nominated for main award


London-centered sustainable method entrepreneur who made a leather-based completely different from pineapple leaves has been shortlisted for the celebrated European Inventor Award.

Earlier Whole world Lender adviser and textile business expert, Carmen Hijosa, invented her trademarked Piñatex material in a bid to uncover a troublesome, environmentally-welcoming, beautiful-on the lookout and mild substitute to leather-based.

Pineapple leaves are usually a squander product of fruit harvests, however the designer devised a process to generate materials from their dried-out cellulose fibres, which she blended with corn-dependent polylactic acid and transformed right into a non-woven mesh textile.

Piñatex, which is developed using considerably a lot much less water than different textiles similar to cotton, is now utilized by almost 3,000 fashions near the globe, like Hugo Supervisor and H&M – and was essential to growing the world’s preliminary all-vegan resort suite at The Hilton Bankside in London in 2019.

Hijosa, 69, earlier catered to purchasers similar to Harrods, prematurely of working as a textile advertising marketing consultant for the Planet Financial institution



Hijosa, 69, moved to Ireland from her indigenous Spain as a teen and co-established luxurious leather-based manufacturing enterprise Chesneau Leather-based-based Merchandise again in 1977, aged simply 19. Heading up model and design for the corporate, she catered to clientele together with Harrods, forward of doing the job as a textile knowledgeable for the Surroundings Lender.

It was though doing the job within the Philippines with the Whole world Financial institution that the designer was uncovered to the extent of the business’s detrimental environmental and social have an effect on. She was influenced to begin producing her pineapple leather-based, and in 2009 undertook a PhD in textiles on the Royal Faculty of Artwork, working to hone the creation.

“Pineapple leaf fibres are extremely stable, high-quality and adaptable, and have been employed within the Philippines for 300 a long time in ordinarily hand-woven textiles,” Hijosa talked about. “I commenced to think about: ‘What if I make a mesh with these pineapple leaf fibres, which isn’t opposite to leather-based – a mesh of fibres?’”

The entrepreneur launched her agency Ananas Anam in 2013. As a result of then the enterprise – which now employs 10 personnel in London and can work with factories in Spain and the Philippines – has noticed revenues virtually double annually by means of to 2019, forward of accelerating by 40% in 2020. These days Piñatex output delivers an supplemental cash to way more than 700 individuals in farming communities and cooperatives within the Philippines.

The European Inventor Award, function since 2006 by the European Patent Enterprise workplace (EPO), honours people whose improvements “ship options to a few of the main issues of our events”. Hijosa has been shortlisted within the SME group, and the EPO notes that “the world’s prime 10 pineapple making nations constructing satisfactory leaves to probably change further than 50% of the world’s leather-based output with Hijosa’s content material”.

EPO president, António Campinos, mentioned that “Hijosa has revealed how innovation can produce sustainable options”.

Campinos reported: “The sooner 12 months has highlighted greater than at any time the value of consultants, scientists, inventors and enterprise house owners in advancing engineering and bettering our life.”

The winner can be launched on June 17.