Calvin Klein uses vegan Piñayarn fabric made from discarded pineapple leaves in its ‘sustainable knit’ sneakers

Author: Maria Chiorando

Read Time:   |  7th September 2023

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Calvin Klein has featured a high-tech vegan material called Piñayarn, made from discarded pineapple leaves, in a pair of its sneakers.

The shoes are a collaboration between the designer and two brands creating sustainable materials – Tencel and Ananas Anam.

Called the ‘sustainable knit trainers’, the shoes are available now in two colours – black and marshmallow.

Made in Portugal, the shoes are crafted from 30 per cent Piñayarn and 70 per cent Tencel Lyocell Refibra.

The brand says they are ‘made with pineapple fibres, recycled cotton and wood pulp obtained from sustainably managed forests’.



Piñayarn was created by Ananas Anam, a brand founded Dr. Carmen Hijosa, and best known for crafting another pineapple-based vegan material – Piñatex.

Piñatex, which is made from pineapple leaf fibres, is a vegan leather alternative designed to simulate both the look and feel animal-based leather.

Meanwhile, Piñayarn is, as the name suggests, a yarn made from a vegan-friendly alternative to wool, positioned as a more environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum-based textiles.

Speaking in a statement announcing the product last year, Dr Carmen Hijosa said: “Developing a yarn that uses the same repurposed waste pineapple leaves was always a natural step after inventing Piñatex.

“The global pandemic accelerated this development as we worked on creating a yarn for biodegradable face coverings.

“It became imminently obvious that the yarn’s credentials would make a positive impact in the fashion and footwear industries.”



In a social media post discussing the collaboration with Calvin Klein, Ananas Anam said the designer was ’embracing its commitment’ to source materials that are less impactful on the planet.

It said: “[Calvin Klein] has launched their first knitted shoe upper, made from pineapple leaf fibres in collaboration with Piñayarn.

“Calvin Klein has embraced their commitment to source more natural materials and lower their impact on the environment through using Piñayarn in this new Sustainable Knit Trainer.

“With a low-impact manufacturing process, Piñayarn is derived from agricultural waste and created through a closed loop production involving a water-free spinning process, while working to the values of circular economy.”

Talking about the full composition of the sneaker, it added: “Piñayarn is used in the shoe upper, offering an environmentally conscious and traceable textile made from waste pineapple leaf fibres in a blend with TENCEL™ Lyocell, a fibre made from wood pulp obtained from sustainably managed forests.”


Tencel Lyocell Refibra

The other innovative material used is Tencel Lyocell Refibra.

According to Tencel, creating it involves upcycling cotton scraps left from garment production and transforming them into cotton pulp.

The brand says: “A substantial proportion – up to one third – of this is added to wood pulp, and the combined raw material is transformed to produce new virgin TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers to make fabrics and garments.”

In a social media post discussing its collaboration with Calvin Klein, it said: “This pair of ecochic trainers is taking bio-based material innovation to a whole new level…and adding a tropical twist in the meantime.”

Keen to ditch the animal products but still look stylish? Check out our Spring/Summer 2023 vegan style guide

Featured photo © Calvin Klein, edited by VFL

Written by

Maria Chiorando

Maria is an editor and journalist. Her work has been published by the Huffington Post, the Guardian, TechnoBuffalo, Plant Based News, and Kent on Sunday among other national and regional titles.

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