Singapore’s Nextevo has launched its sustainable fibres and yarn made from pineapple leaves, a common waste produced from cultivation.
The company seeks to positively impact farmers and help relieve environmental pollution by transforming agricultural waste into sustainable, value-added products for everyday living.
Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines are among the major pineapple growers in Southeast Asia. The region, in turn, generates significant volumes of pineapple leaf waste, which is commonly burnt, discarded into landfills, or composted.
To help minimise the potential environmental impact of the process, the eco startup collaborates with the farmers to collect the discarded pineapple leaves and turn them into textile materials such as fibres and yarn. The joint effort not only helps control agricultural waste but also provides additional income for farmers.
The sustainable yarn is made by combining ready-to-spin (RTS) pineapple fibres with other eco-fibres like cotton, lyocell, and recycled polyester. Afterwards, the blended yarns are distributed to the textile industry for use across different applications, including denim apparel, upholstery, bath towels, and even sneakers.
In Thailand, the startup has an existing joint venture with Jinny Tantipipatpong, chairman of Saico, the world’s fourth-largest pineapple cannery producer, to create a vertically integrated supply chain; which includes sourcing leaves, processing the RTS fibres and distributing them to manufacturers. The joint venture announced its plans to scale up pineapple leaf fibre production by the first quarter of next year.
Harold Koh, the founder of Nextevo, said the company plans to expand to work on other forms of agricultural waste to provide sustainable solutions at scale.
“Investing in the environment is not a one-off event, it’s a continual process, whenever there’s a possibility of turning waste into a resource, we look at it very seriously,” said Koh.
Other companies that use pineapple waste include Dole from the Philippines, Ananas Anam, and Nike.