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Cactus is the New Leather Alternative (Two Mexican Entrepreneurs Develop Cactus Leather)



  • by Peter Manley

If you are or were a fan of leather clothing and accessories, the market just got better for you – cactus is now being used as a means to develop plant-based leather alternative goods.

Two Mexican entrepreneurs – Marte Cázarez and Adrián López Velarde – recently introduced a product called Desserto, which is the first-ever plant-based leather alternative to be made entirely from the nopal cactus (also known as prickly-pear).

The goal of the two entrepreneurs was to develop a more sustainable and harm-free alternative to traditional animal leather, and they have succeeded. In a discussion with Fashion United, 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 animals or synthetic leather.”

The new Desserto leather is made of materials that are partially biodegradable. Moreover, the “leather” meets all of the technical specifications set out by the automotive, furniture, and fashion industries in regards to leather. Whereas some other plant-based leather alternative materials tend to have quite a short life span, the new Desserto material is strong, breathable, and can last at least ten years. This makes it a viable and potentially permanent option for replacing animal leather in several industries altogether.

López Velarde continued his discussion, “Also, thanks to its organic composition, it is breathable, which makes cactus or nopal vegan leather similar to animal leather.” The two entrepreneurs introduced their new Desserto material at the International Leather Fair Lineapelle last month in Milan. Since then, the dynamic duo has already been making plans with several large companies from different industries to implement the Desserto in the company’s future plans and products.

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