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Mexican Designers Create Vegan Leather Made From Cactus

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Mexican entrepreneurs Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez launched an organic all-natural, cruelty-free leather made with nopal, which they successfully showcased in the last edition of the International Leather Fair Lineapelle 2019 in Milan, Italy.

The first cactus based leather ‘Desserto’ made from nopal is a cactus, also known as the prickly-pear to land up on the market. The material is partially biodegradable, which can be used in a variety of different products, to replace anything from furniture, plastics, automotive industry, to building material.

It’s flexible, breathable, and durable for at least ten years. The cactus leather can replace animal leather and synthetic material that is not environmental friendly.

Adrián López Velarde, who had worked in the furniture industry and later in the automotive sector and Marte Cázarez in the fashion industry, identified pollution was a severe environmental problem. Being environmentally conscious, they decided to leave their jobs and start Adriano Di Marti, Desserto.

Two years of research and development, they managed to create a suitable substance that complies with the characteristics and technical/mechanical specifications required by the industries that use animal or synthetic leather.

Due to its organic composition, it is breathable, which makes cactus or nopal vegan leather similar to animal leather.

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An expert at Lineapelle said that cactus leather is an appropriate material to use in the luxury segment due to its flexibility, touch, softness, and color.

They came up with the notion of using nopal when they realized how abundant cactus is in Mexico. It does not require water to grow, as well as symbolically, and it represents Mexico. To incorporate the material into any industry, it is essential to count on a stable abundant supply of raw material. Regarding production capacity, they have about 500,000 linear meters a month.

Desserto did a show at Raw Assembly, a sustainable raw material sourcing event in Australia. Vogue Australia reported that Desserto had the most buzz of all companies at the event.

This brand is most certainly one to be on the lookout for.

In previous years brands have created forms of different leather made from plants such as olives and pineapple.

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Hugo Boss debuted vegan leather sneakers made from pineapple.

A German footwear company Thies launched a line of leather shoes made from olives.

H&M debuted a vegan leather jacket made from pineapples.

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