There are many gorgeous vegan leather goods that are totally animal-free, but most brands use plastic-derived materials to make a style statement. However, in an environment friendly turn of events, a Mexican brand Desserto is shaking things up by turning nopal cactus leaves into organic, all-natural, cruelty-free leather. This is the world’s first cactus-based leather and the material has the potential to make the vegan leather industry much more sustainable.
According to reports, the cactus leather is organic, partially biodegradable, soft, durable, and high enough quality for it to be used to make clothing, accessories, furniture and even car interiors. Co-founder and vice president of Desserto, Adrián López Velarde said, “After two years of research and development, we managed to produce a suitable material that complies with the features and technical/mechanical specifications required by those industries that use animal or synthetic leather”.
López Velarde and his partner Marte Cázarez came up with the idea of cactus-based leather after learning about the plastic pollution crisis. The two innovators were intrigued by the nopal cactus as it grows in abundance throughout Mexico and does not require any water to grow.
The duo, however, does not plan to make their own products, but rather sell the fabric to other designers and fashion brands. That said, it’s unclear when brands will start producing cactus leather products using Desserto. López Velarde said, “The biggest challenge we have encountered is finding a way to make our materials accessible for small and medium-sized companies, because sometimes minimum purchase quantities are a barrier for them. This is why we always try to have an inventory so they can buy small quantities, and we are also working with potential suppliers who can make our materials available for everyone”.