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Nike is teaming up with Ananas Anam, the company behind the pineapple vegan leather Pinatex, to launch a new plant-based sneaker collection. Featured in some of Nike’s most iconic designs over the years, including their Air Force and Air Max sneakers, the animal-free pineapple-based fabric will replace the use of animal leather, alongside other sustainable materials such as cork.
Nike is set to release its brand new Happy Pineapple sneaker collection on Thursday, June 17, featuring revamps of its classic sneaker designs made with Pinatex, the plant-based leather alternative developed by Ananas Anam. Created by Dr. Carmen Hijosa, Pinatex resembles leather, thanks to the cellulose fibres extracted from pineapple leaves, and is a more sustainable alternative to traditional vegan leather alternatives derived from plastic, such as PU and PVC.
By virtue of being animal-free, Pinatex also requires far fewer resources to produce compared to its conventional hide counterparts, as raising animals for skin requires huge amounts of feed, land, water and emits carbon dioxide in the process.
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Nike’s Happy Pineapple Collection
In the Happy Pineapple collection are five Nike sneaker models, each being released in several colourways. These include the Free Run Trail Premium, which will be available in the U.S. and European markets, the Air Force 1, Air Max 90, Air Max 95 and Air Zoom Type, launching in Asia.
Commenting on the launch, Dr. Christian Kurtzke, non-executive chairman of the board at Ananas Anam, wrote in a social media post: “Wonderful to see this finally being released…with one model in the Western World, and five more all over Asia.”
“Proving once again that Pinatex is the plant-based performance material available today for commercial collections,” Kurtzke added.
Read: Our complete guide to natural vegan & cruelty-free leather alternatives
Nike has also decided to incorporate other sustainable materials such as natural cork into the Happy Pineapple range, as part of the brand’s campaign to “Move to Zero” and tap into the fast-growing eco-friendly sneaker trend.
Vegan leather alternatives are increasingly being adopted by brands, and the industry is now estimated to become a US$89 billion market by 2025.
Nike previously debuted animal-free leather versions of its SB Dunks and a recycled plastic Space Hippie range, while its rival brands Adidas and Reebok have both also launched their own plant-based and sustainable designs to keep up with consumer demand.
All images courtesy of Nike.