Cotance, The Confederation of National Associations of Tanners and Dressers of the European Community, took it upon itself to write to Carmen Hijosa. Not just because the Spanish entrepreneur, founder of di Piñatex, is among the finalists of the European Inventor Award 2021. But because she continues to promote its product with the type of “babble” that is well liked by those that sponsor vegan products. The type of propaganda that is archaic, or rather throws leather under the bus and keeps no account of actual facts. “European tanners are deeply saddened by the fact that Hijosa is spreading lies regarding the tanning segment – reads Cotance’s statement -, effectively defaming an economic segment that provides wealth and jobs to many countries of the globe, and does so sustainably”.
Vegan material’s babble
Hijosa, still during the European Inventor Award repeats that she dedicated herself to her project after she went to the Philippines (a detail not to be forgotten), and allegedly saw how polluting and damaging the leather chain can be. Cotance not only repeats that leather is a circular material, because it’s saved from the livestock industry, but it’s also a segment that invests in sustainability. Yet, Piñatex, which transforms pineapple leaves into textile, isn’t so sustainable either. “Information available regarding such crop fields, that grow pineapples, say that they use pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers – recites the note -. In terms of soil consumption, the extensive production of pineapples terribly damages the tropical forest’s ecosystem, biodiversity and clean water for human use”.
The material and Europe
So, Hijosa presents her material as an alternative to leather because of equal quality. Is it true? “Piñatex was recently analyzed by the FILK Institute in a scientific article – answers Cotance -. It has a traction resistance that is inferior to that of leather and a smaller breathability level. FILK found inside the material the DIBP plasticizer, which is potentially harmful”. And so, Cotance doesn’t hold back on criticizing institutions either. The European Inventor Award is organized by the European Patent Office. Did nobody there check on the content of the materials that were presented by finalists?
It’s not over
Again, vegan materials pop up almost daily. With pretentiousness, sometimes. In Argentina, for example, the mate herb is the national beverage. And so Veronica Bergottini tries to offer “un cuero” that is derived from that herb. Adriana Santonocito, on the other hand, is Sicilian: so, it’s Ohoskin is made with cacti and oranges. We have already had a chance to hear her anti-tanning rhetoric, as it’s very aggressive. She charged again during the Fashion Tech Week, as she said that we need her material because tanning is “among the most polluting segments of the textile industry (though it’s not a textile), has a devastating impact on the environment and has an ethical issue”. Never sit by and listen to biased opinions: let’s answer with facts.