Dr Carmen HijosaFounder, Chief Creative and Innovation Officer, Ananas Anam Ltd

Dr Carmen Hijosa, Founder and Chief Creative and Innovation Officer of Ananas Anam Ltd, developed Piñatex® - a natural plant-based material made from pineapple leaf fibre. She is an ethical entrepreneur with a vision for a more sustainable future, connecting people, ecology and economics.

Originally from Spain, Carmen’s career has taken her around the world. As an expert in leather goods manufacturing she was brought to the Philippines in the 1990s to consult on improving the leather industry, where she was shocked to realize the toxic impact of mass leather production. She was driven to find an alternative solution, which started the journey of Piñatex®. This led Carmen to seven years of research, including undertaking a PhD at the Royal College of Art (UK). Through perseverance and belief in her values of social and environmental responsibility she developed a new, commercially viable textile and scalable supply chain that has created a vibrant new industry for pineapple farming communities.

The material called Piñatex is patented and is being marketed to the following B2B markets initially: fashion and accessories, upholstery and automotive industries. Made of a wide available by-product of agriculture, the development of Piñatex is inspired by the Circular economy philosophy, which supports ecological, intelligent and innovative design within today’s economic environment. This philosophy is being used as an inspiration throughout the production processes, product design and development.

With clients such as HUGO BOSS, H&M, Hilton Hotels and a prestigious global luxury label, Ananas Anam is currently ramping up its manufacturing capability in the Philippines and is planning expansion in other pineapple-growing countries, e.g. Costa Rica. Ananas Anam is preparing a Series B funding round to accelerate its growth on its selected markets.

Her innovative work has been widely recognized, and she has received laurates including the InnovateUK Women in Innovation award (2017), the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award (2016) and the Grand Designs Green Hero award (2016); Carmen regularly represents Ananas Anam at sustainable summits, such as the World Forum for a Responsible Economy, Lille, France  (2018) and the World Trade Organization, Aid for Trade Global Review, Geneva (2019).  

Dr Hijosa is committed to research and innovation, and is directly involved in the ongoing development of Piñatex®.

The Piñatex® textile is currently being used by designers across the world to create products from footwear and fashion to furniture and automotive interiors, offering a better choice for a better future.

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