Designers From Mexico Create Vegan Leather Made From Cactus
By John Vibes
Two entrepreneurs from Mexico have recently launched an organic vegan leather that is made entirely of materials taken from the nopal cactus, which is also sometimes known as the prickly-pear. The material is also biodegradable and can be used in a variety of different products. Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez, the creators of the material, say that it can be used to replace anything from plastics to building material.
The pair branded the material with the name “Desserto,” after working on the project for about two years, according to López Velarde.
“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. Also, thanks to its organic composition, it is breathable, which makes cactus or nopal vegan leather similar to animal leather,” Velarde told Fashion United.
They came up with the idea to use this material for products after realizing how abundant the cactus is in Mexico, and how it does not require any water to grow.
“It’s the right time to offer this alternative, because not only are consumer industries interested in new materials like these, but also more and more end-consumers are demanding environmentally friendly materials,” 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,” he added.
Last month, Desserto was shown during the International Leather Fair Lineapelle in Milan, Italy.
People often forget that vegan products extend far beyond food. Unfortunately, not all vegan products are organic, in fact, most vegan leather is currently made from types of plastic that are known to contain toxic chemicals, phthalates, and traces of bisphenol A. Luckily, that is beginning to change.
Just last week, Truth Theory reported that members of the Wu-Tang Clan recently launched a vegan wallet made out of bananas. In most cases, organic, vegan products are just as functional and durable as those made with leather or even plastic.
Earlier this year, the fashion designer H&M launched a vegan jacket made out of pineapple leather. Hugo Boss also used pineapple leather to make a new line of vegan sneakers, which were released last year.
John Vibes is an author and journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture, and focuses solutions-oriented approaches to social problems. He is also a host of The Free Your Mind Conference and The Free Thought Project Podcast. Read More stories by John Vibes