In the world of sustainable fashion, Dr Carmen Hijosa is something of a goddess.
She is the force behind Piñatex®: a revolutionary material made from pineapple leaf fibre. Often referred to as "pineapple leather", the material is made from agricultural by products and is rapidly gaining worldwide attention for its sustainability credentials.
We use the silver version of Carmen's Piñatex® and we were lucky enough to score a few minutes of Carmen's time to ask her some questions...
How do you start your day?
I start the day looking out to see the weather, I drink a glass of warm water and take a few mins to read from ‘The Calendar of the Soul’ meditations.
What's inside your handbag?
Wallet, keys, phone.. a notebook for ideas, computer and work notebook, sometimes my lunch, a collection of various pens, makeup bag, a book, water bottle, and samples of Piñatex, usually the latest samples we made so that I can look at them when I am travelling, then bits and pieces such as interesting seeds, shaped stones, leaves, whatever I find that looks interesting to look at.
What's your bag style?
I carry a backpack all the time – if I travel I also carry a belt bag.
What you are most proud of in your career to date:
Im equally proud of all the work I create – however, for positive impact in the world, Piñatex is the winner: its human-centred and transparent supply chain is an intrinsic part of the product. The team that drives the product and vision are absolutely to be proud of!
The most difficult time of your career:
What is difficult today becomes ‘normal’ tomorrow. I see difficulties as pointers or stumbling blocks we need to learn from.
Biggest life lesson:
Lots of them: To do what drives you and keeps you alive is key; let go of fear, have a plan and look forward with absolute equanimity to everything that the future brings you.
I'm happiest when:
When I’m walking in nature with my walking boots and walking poles.
My favourite place to be is:
A little hamlet in the mountains of Asturias, Spain where my family has a house and I go as often as I can.
The woman/women who have most inspired you?
Sonja Landweer, a Dutch artist living in Ireland, who has been my creative and spiritual mentor, as well as a great friend. Greta Thunberg (and her generation). She walks the talk on what we need to do to help our planet survive.
Head over to the Pinatex website to learn more about this fascinating material: www.ananas-anam.com