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    Fibre Focus: Pineapple

    Choosing a fibre from a design perspective can be challenging enough, but the fibre that a fabric is made from also has numerous environmental and social impacts. It can be difficult to work out the best option when selecting a fibre.

    Introducing Fibre Focus, our fabric blog that breaks down the various impacts of a fibre from an environmental, social justice and design standpoint. It is important to also consider any potential impacts a fibre might have if it were to become more popular.

    Pineapple:

    Design advantages:
    • Strong, long and durable fibres
    • Derived from a wasted byproduct of the fruit industry
    • Because it is a byproduct, the cost of producing pineapple fibre is negligible
    • Pineapple fibre is vegan
    • The fabric is easy to cut, stitch and dye
    • Can be produced in a non-woven mesh

    Design disadvantages:
    • Pineapple trees take a long time to grow
    • The fabric is expensive at the moment

    Environmental impacts:
    • Created from a byproduct of the fruit industry – so no additional raw materials or resources are required to produce fabric
    • Natural, derived from pineapple leaves, not petrol
    • Biodegradable, pineapple fabric will degrade back to nature instead of lurking in landfill releasing harmful greenhouse gasses
    • Animal-free
    • Pineapples grow well organically
    • Pineapple leaves must be imported to countries where pineapples do not grow naturally, this uses air miles and fuel
    • Closed-loop production is possible for this fabric

    Social impacts:
    • Provides a second stream of income for pineapple farmers
    • Vegans can enjoy leather-like pineapple fabric
    • Adding value to byproducts can provide income to farming communities

    Positive potential impacts:
    • Fewer chemical pesticides in the environment
    • A decreased water footprint
    • Decreased farmer dependence on large chemical companies
    • Preservation of air, water and soil quality
    • Extra income generated for pineapple farmers
    • Decreased presence of animal leather in the textile marketplace

    Negative potential impacts:
    • Job loss for farmers in other fibre industries, and therefore a loss of income
    • Job loss in chemical industry

    So there you have it, a simple breakdown of pineapple farbic’s impacts that you can keep in mind when buying, sourcing or designing.

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