PH company turns pineapples into sneakers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 25) — A local company has come up with a new way to use sustainably sourced materials — turning pineapple and cotton fibers into sneakers.

Creative Definitions co-founder Michael Claparols on Thursday spoke to CNN Philippines about their environmentally friendly product.

The birth of LAKAT Sneakers

It all started when he and his wife Banj went to a trade fair almost three years ago.

After the visit, they had a lightbulb moment that it was time to create sustainable shoes, which they called LAKAT Sneakers.

"We were actually shocked that the trend [of] sustainable materials and products is growing, so I said, wait, the Philippines is gifted with more than 30 fibers...so we thought of an idea - why not come up with sustainable sneakers made of our own locally sourced fibers? So that's how it all began," Michael Claparols told The Source.

Anatomy of LAKAT Sneakers

The shoe upper is made using pineapple and cotton fibers and hand-woven by weavers from Negros Island, Claparols said.

The insoles use 100% non-woven pineapple fabric while the outsoles are created using rubber produced by farmers in Mindanao. Mixed with the rubber outsoles are pineapple and cotton fibers that were discarded during the yarn spinning process.

The technology behind the sustainable shoes is a collaboration between Creative Definitions and the Philippine Textile Research Institute.

"It is really a 99% sustainable product made 100% locally," Claparols said, adding it takes two to three months to finish making the sneakers.

Is it expensive?

A "lo-cut" Lakat sneaker is priced at ₱3,960 while a pair of "hi-cut" shoes is sold at ₱4,220.