New Zealand start-up uses pineapple leaves and algae to make sustainable shoes

Pineapple leaves, an agricultural waste product, are turned into a leather alternative while algae from toxic blooms is used for the soles of the seakers.

In a bid to create the world’s most sustainable shoe, a New Zealand start-up has turned pineapple leaves and algae into raw materials for eco-friendly footwear.

Pineapple leaves, which are usually burned as waste products in the Philippines from where they are sourced, are transformed into a replacement for animal leather, said Jeremy Bank, founder of YY Nation, the maker of the shoes.

Filipino farmers in pineapple plantations extract fibers from pineapple husks before they are converted into threads, which undergo an industrial process that transforms them into the material to form part of the outer covering of the shoes. Thirty leaves are needed to make just under two pairs of shoes.

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