The world has been trying to come up with a sustainable and eco-friendly planet by using an alternative to leather that is cruelty-free. Now, an innovative idea was devised by two Mexican entrepreneurs. They create leather simply by using cactus that is not only eco-friendly but also looks and feels like the real leather type. The desserto vegan leather made of cactus is in the top 30 finalists of the LVMH innovation award 2020.
Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez have discovered a method of transforming cactus into vegan leather which is called Desserto. Desserto is a highly sustainable plant-based vegan leather made from cactus often distinguished by its softness to touch while offering great performance for a wide variety of applications and complying with the most rigorous quality and environmental standard.
The cactus is very resilient, and it can withstand low temperatures during winter without dying. this leather replacement means less harm to cows and other animals, minimum water use, and carbon dioxide absorption. the result is organic and durable vegan leather that lasts up to ten years. it’s flexible, breathable and it doesn’t stain. It is made entirely out of cactus, and this leather can be used to make everything from shoes to wallets.
No irrigation systems are used as the cactus grow healthy with rainwater and earth minerals found in the area. They select and cut only the mature leaves of the plant without damaging the cactus itself, and do a new harvest every 6 to 8 months.
After cutting the mature leaves, they are dried under the sun for three days until the desired humidity levels are achieved. the organic raw material is then processed and mixed with non-toxic chemicals and then shaped into any texture and color.
In the process of creating cactus leather, they cut the mature leaves and dry them under the sun for 3 days to achieve the exact humidity level needed. the ranch is fully organic, so no herbicides or pesticides are used in the process. All the remaining organic cactus material not used is exported and sold nationally to the food industry.
Up until now, the company has been able to utilize cactus leather in many ways, creating handbags, car seats, shoes, and even apparel. And since the material is completely organic, the leather is breathable, which has often proven to be a problem when it comes to synthetic alternatives.
Benefits and plan
An important environmentally-friendly fact is that cactus leather is partially biodegradable and contains zero plastic. The biodegradable nature of this material is even more valuable. Its durability and high resistance to low temperatures help to make organic and sustainable products.
The brand is negotiating projects with major players in a variety of industries and working to make the material more accessible to small and medium-sized businesses.
They have not had to cut down any trees at the farms that supply the cactuses. They have done the opposite, as they plant a native cactus from the region, which helps the biodiversity of the area.
Adrian and Maret’s methods about Cactus Leather cause no harm to biodiversity. Their plantation is fully organic and their natural techniques stimulate the soil’s microflora and microfauna, which is then preserved without any damage caused whatsoever.
If the world embraces the idea of cultivating organic cactus leather instead of animal leather, it will greatly benefit by reducing leather pollution. This is a viable solution that needs to be instantly implemented worldwide for saving our environment and for maintaining biodiversity.