AS Roma (on loan from Manchester United) and England International footballer Chris Smalling has announced an investment into Ananas Anam, acquiring a stake in the company that manufactures and sells Piñatex – a natural, non-woven material made from pineapple leaf fibre which can be used as a sustainable alternative to leather and petroleum-based textiles.
At 29 years old, Chris Smalling has proved a pioneer for plant-based diets in English professional sport, citing in-humane practice of meat production and animal welfare as the reasoning behind making the transition.
He has utilised his platforms and engaged audience to enhance visibility of environmental concerns and has been vocal on the necessity of sustainable and humane practice.
Smalling comments: “To be a part of a movement that is making conscious positive steps to benefit the environment is hugely rewarding. Ananas Anam is already making noise in the fashion and upholstery industries and I hope to utilise my brand and my platforms to compliment and accelerate company growth. I’m excited to be a part of the journey.”
Melanie Broye-Engelkes, CEO Ananas Anam said: “Chris Smalling is an inspirational personality and we are thrilled to have his support. Chris is truly aligned with Ananas Anam through his vegan lifestyle and the social impact of his work with younger generations. We look forward to a collaborative approach, embarking on a new and exciting journey into the sports sector as well as raising awareness through his platform and voice.”