Dutch fashion brand Mercer Amsterdam has just designed and released a pair of vegan sneakers made exclusively from pineapple leather. The brand claims that their new W3RD Vegan Pineapple is the first shoe in all luxury fashion to use “Piñatex,” the bulk of which is sustainably sourced from pineapple farms in the Philippines.
This cruelty-free leather alternative is made from the fibers of leaves that are generally discarded after their fruit is harvested, which means that all the resources involved in the creation of Vegan Pineapple sneakers are raw, natural, and free of any negative environmental impact. There’s also low production waste and water use involved in the tanning of the leather, thereby totally bypassing the need for harmful chemicals. And by purchasing the produce from local farmers in the Philippines, Mercer is even doing their part to grow the economy of a developing country by enhancing its exports. Talk about a win-win for both the people and the planet!
Company founder Pim Dresen states: “We have been trying and testing for a long time to get it done with mango and strawberry leather, but we could not get it right. Then we discovered Piñatex, which offered an amazing material ready to use, tested and all. Plus, we love pineapple.”
Mercer Amsterdam wants to make it absolutely clear that these new sneakers do not forfeit any of the comfort or luxury of real leather. As a matter of fact, each W3RD Vegan Pineapple sneaker has been lined with OnSteam: an ultra-durable microfiber textile that is 100-percent breathable, helps reduce sweating, and maintains a cool, dry internal temperature at all times.
This isn’t the first time that Mercer’s signature W3RD shoe has gotten a facelift, either. Last year, the company released W3RD 2.0 Night Mission, a space-themed shoe designed in collaboration with NASA to celebrate the anniversary of the challenging Apollo 17 mission. That sneaker’s dark colorway, featuring a cobalt blue strip across the heel and the official NASA logo patch on the side, mimicked the dark abyss that the original mission’s astronauts would have experienced back in 1972.
From a design perspective, the Vegan Pineapple is pretty much the exact opposite of the Night Mission. The clean, minimalist aesthetic of the former, complete with a beige outer and crisp white midsole, really appeals to the luxurious vibe of the Mercer brand whilst still harnessing that authentic, organic feel. Plus, there’s no better combination for apparel than something that looks great and does the planet a world of good. The company has already expressed interest in experimenting with even more alternative materials in the near future to continue pushing for a sustainable future.
The €250 handmade-in-Europe vegan sneakers were available for pre-order all throughout March 2019, with initial deliveries expected to begin shipping at the end of April.