Singapore-based agricultural waste specialist Nextevo, has launched sustainable fibers and yarns made from pineapple leaves, a common agricultural waste from pineapple cultivation. NEXTEVO offers blended yarns for the textile sector, including denim garments, footwear, upholstery, and bath towels, by combining these Ready-to-Spin (RTS) fibers with other eco-fibers (e.g. organic cotton, lyocell, recycled polyester, etc.).
Southeast Asia is the world's largest producer of pineapples, with the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia among the leading producers. Significant amounts of pineapple leaf waste are typically burned, discarded into landfills, or composted, resulting in negative environmental consequences.
Instead, NEXTEVO takes these pineapple leaves and transforms them into value-added textile materials in collaboration with local farmers. In the process, farmers will not only be able to reduce existing environmental issues, but they will also be able to augment their revenue.
Jinny Tantipipatpong, chairman of SAICO (the world's fourth-largest pineapple cannery), and NEXTEVO have created a vertically integrated supply chain in Thailand. This includes procuring pineapple leaves, processing them into RTS fibers and blended yarns for manufacturers, and producing high-end consumer goods for worldwide brands.
The manufacture of pineapple leaf fiber (PALF) in Thailand is the outcome of a year-long journey from proof-of-concept to commercialization. Trial production began in late September 2021, with full-scale production beginning in the first quarter of 2022.
PALF sourcing began with a farm cooperative in Indonesia, with intentions to expand into the processing of coconut husk waste into sustainable materials by the second quarter of 2022.
Harold Koh, the founder of NEXTEVO, spent nine years as the CEO of Great Giant Pineapple (the world's largest single pineapple plantation in Indonesia), and has a vast network in the agricultural business. Harold intends to expand into various types of agricultural waste in Southeast Asia in order to deliver scaled-up value-added solutions.
NEXTEVO hopes to make a difference in the lives of 5,000 farmers in Southeast Asia during the next three years.
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