What Is Cactus Leather

The unquestionable necessity to go green is being handled in the fashion industry with distinctive style. Desserto, a textile company located in Mexico that creates a velvety, waterproof vegan leather replacement completely from Nopal Cactus, is one of the most interesting newcomers to the market. T.A. Walsh penned the article.

The unquestionable necessity to go green is being handled in the fashion industry with distinctive style. Sustainable materials are becoming increasingly popular, from vegan leather created from recycled pineapple harvests to heels that turn reclaimed cork into stylish footwear.

Desserto, a textile company located in Mexico that creates a velvety, waterproof vegan leather replacement completely from Nopal Cactus, is one of the most interesting newcomers to the market. Together, designers Marte Czarez and Adrin Lpez Velarde created a vegan leather that is both high-quality and versatile by combining their expertise in the fashion, automotive, and furniture industries.

Desserto’s founders had a long experience of dealing with leather, and given its severe environmental impact and the cruelty involved in breeding cows for their hides, they grew deeply concerned about it. They made the decision to develop a premium vegan leather that is free of all the hazardous baggage since they have a keen awareness of the requirements of luxury companies.

The leaves of the Nopal cactus plant, which may be picked without harming the plant, are used to make cactus leather. Desserto raised a variety of native plants that are natural to the area and require very little water to grow.

All of Desserto’s cactus plants are raised on a ranch owned by Velarde and Czarez in the Mexican state of Zacatecas. They take care to maintain the plant’s health and life by harvesting materials leaves from their adult cactuses every six to eight months. This ranch uses no irrigation because it is committed to long-term health rather than maximizing resource extraction. The cactus can be cultivated in Zacatecas with only rainwater and naturally occurring earth minerals.

After being gathered, the water-saving, CO2 absorbing raw material is processed without the use of any harmful chemicals to produce high-quality, convincing vegan leather. The resulting impermeable, strong, and aesthetically beautiful biodegradable cactus leather is silky to the touch.

the first organic substance derived from the nopal cactus, or “Highly sustainable is the prickly pear cactus. The fabled capacity of the nopal plant to take up carbon dioxide. It needs very little water to develop, just as many other desert plants. Their cactus requires only 200 liters of water as opposed to the usual plant’s 1,000 liters, which is required to generate 1 kilogram of dry material.

Additionally, the food business receives 50% of the harvested leaves from Desserto. This indicates that a single crop yields two goods. This multifunctional advantage of cactus leather is significant because a projected worldwide food crisis is one of the most important climate change-related worries.

While all vegan leathers are free from animal testing and thus a vast improvement over conventional leather, the environmental advantages of cactus leather are far greater.

Some traditional leather businesses attempt to claim that they use a “that would otherwise be thrown away. Although there is some truth to that, the majority of leather is treated with chromium, a highly toxic substance that seriously harms the environment. Without harmful chemicals that leak into water systems, cactus leather is made naturally. The well-known fact that raising cows significantly increases the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is fully eliminated by cactus leather.

You might be asking what can be done with cactus leather now that we know it is ethically sourced, environmentally friendly, and completely cruelty-free. The short answer is that traditional quality leather can be used for just about everything.

As well as the inside of cars and upscale furniture, cactus leather has also been utilized to create cute handbags, vegan leather shoes, and faux leather coats. Desserto and House of Fluff have teamed up to create leather jackets that are as durable as nails. In the world of footwear, CLAE has introduced the original Cactus leather sneaker in a distinguishing shade of green.

Is leather from cacti good?

advantages of cactus leather

  • Cactus leather has a smooth, velvety texture, according to those who are fortunate enough to possess it.
  • Cactus leather is powerful, and for good reason—it is one of the toughest imitation leathers, which is necessary for it to be successful in the many regions where leather is already popular.
  • The prickly pear is a plant that is very common in other nations as well as Mexico, as I already explained.
  • This leather can degrade in part.
  • The most valuable characteristic of this leather is certainly its breathability. The cactus’ skin is permeable, allowing it to quickly expel things like sweat.
  • Very little water is needed for the prickly pear to develop. “Since this plant doesn’t require any water to thrive and there is enough of it in the Mexican Republic, the concept of exploiting it as a raw material was born. Additionally, it serves as a symbol for all of us Mexicans, as is well known “According to Lpez Velarde

We can only suggest Desserto and Santa Playa items if you wish to test cactus leather. From these, we’ve chosen a few items that you might like that are fairly priced and made of cactus leather.

Drawbacks to cactus leather

  • Vegetable leather’s inability to change color over time can be viewed as a benefit or a drawback, but any good leather lover enjoys watching their clothing accessories get older alongside them.
  • Desserto claims that their leather has a ten-year lifespan. It’s less than real leather but more than the majority of synthetic leather.
  • It is a pricey product targeted at a rich minority.

What is the name of cactus leather?

  • A proposal developed by two businesspeople from Mexico makes use of cacti to produce vegan leather.
  • There is no need for irrigation systems because cacti can thrive in the desert, which considerably reduces the consumption of natural resources.
  • Boots, coats, accessories—pretty much anything that would need raw hide leather—can be made from the Desserto cactus leather.

Polyvinylchloride (PVC) apparel has a terrible reputation whether you call it faux leather, vinyl, or pleather because it first appeared on the market in the 1960s. But at some point, the conversation switched to leathers that are vegan, sustainable, and environmentally friendly and we stopped viewing leather substitutes as cheap knockoffs.

That shift occurred in 2016, when weekly searches for “vegan leather” started to outpace comparable searches for “pleather” or “faux leather,” according to Google Trends data. Since then, material scientists, engineers, and fashion designers have been working feverishly to develop the next great leather substitute, using anything from grass to recycled plastic bottles to wine-based leather.

How is cactus leather made?

Most of us are aware by this point of how much cattle and other animals affect the environment. So it may seem unsustainable to choose cow leather. However, given that the “vegan leather” alternative is actually simply plastic, cow leather still prevails in terms of durability and reduced waste.

But what should you do if you don’t want to wear leather made from animals or help make virgin plastic? Introducing cactus leather to you. This novel leather substitute, like mushroom leather, has a lifespan comparable to that of animal leather without the polymers found in conventional “vegan leather.” Too good to be true? Evidently, no.

We met with Tessa Carroll, the brand’s creator and creative director of AC Official, which uses cactus leather. She covers all the essential information regarding cactus leather below.

Can you explain what is cactus leather? How do you make leather out of a cactus?

I collaborate with the creators of Desserto, a biomaterial made from cacti that can replace animal leather. The mature leaves of a prickly pear cactus are harvested, and the proteins and fibers inside are extracted to create an organic bio resin that is then coated on a carrier.

Cactus leather is being heralded as a much more sustainable option than other vegan leathers? Why is this?

This is due to a variety of factors, including the fact that cacti fields are significant carbon sinks, meaning that just the act of producing them helps to trap carbon from the atmosphere. Furthermore, it is common knowledge that cacti don’t need a lot of water to survive. This indicates that they use exponentially less water during growth and harvest than, say, waxed cotton. In actuality, Desserto’s property has no irrigation systems in place. The cactus are cultivated organically, without the use of pesticides or herbicides, and are solely watered with rain. Additionally, the cactus’ mature leaves are removed when it has reached its full size (this takes 6–8 weeks at most), leaving the root system in the ground and preventing the release of carbon from the soil. Working with Desserto has been an amazing experience because they take sustainability into account at every stage of the value chain. from the management of land resources all the way to the actual content

How does it compare to animal leather in terms of sustainability?

In plain English, leather is not a natural product by the time it gets into the hands of the consumer, whether it is a by-product of the meat industry or not. One of the most resource-intensive manufacturing processes is the production of leather, which requires a staggering amount of poisonous chemicals to keep it from decomposing while in our possession and water to grow the grass that was used to feed the livestock in the first place. One kilogram of leather is said to require 17,000 liters of pure drinking water. Additionally, due to the quantities of harmful chemicals in the soil, EPAs (Environmental Protection Agencies) classify former leather tannery sites as inactive for a specific amount of time after their use, much like a gas station. Finally, when leather is recycled into waste, it absorbs these toxins into our soils, making them unusable for growing anything until they are regenerated.

Does cactus leather last and have a similar longevity to animal leather?

The longevity of leather is one of its many benefits. But this contributes to the issue as well. Things that last forever will always require a place to live, whether it’s in your closet, a charity shop, or just a landfill. Although Desserto offers a wide range of materials with varying technical capabilities, they can totally replace leather without sacrificing quality and, with the help of the proper designer, without sacrificing style.

Does cactus leather biodegrade?

The most advanced version of Desserto’s sustainable materials, which can contain up to 92 percent organic carbon derived from plants, is highly biodegradable and offers a variety of levels of sustainability. Depending on the textile’s use, it is backed with a variety of different textiles. At A C Official, we choose a backing made of 100 percent organic cotton, but there are additional textiles made of recycled cotton and polyester and a rubber option for furniture.

Do you think this is a better option?

Absolutely. We have till 2021 to change the course of the world, but time is running out. By utilizing cutting-edge plant-based materials, we can open the discussion about Who Made My Handbag and What Is My Handbag Made of while also dramatically reducing the environmental effects of the fashion industry. Objectivity, openness, and sustainability. What should more people be aware of regarding the leather industry, in your opinion? With 20% of the Amazon currently deforested, cattle ranching is the primary cause of this destruction. Every year, we lose an area the size of the UK to this.

The leather business employs poisonous chemicals that are harmful to individuals and the environment, including insecticides, chromium salts, tanning liquor, sulphide, and many more unpleasant substances. It produces enormous amounts of waste during the tanning and production processes, and presently, 80 percent of leather is tanned with chrome in the world, which is obvious in the health of the employees who breathe it in on a daily basis. Not to mention the animal’s life that it needs for survival. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to recover all of the pollutants produced by the tanning process, even in highly modernized tanneries. Although vegetable tanning is a good idea, it does not eliminate the need for the natural resources that were used to raise and harvest the animals in the first place. If we care so much about how much energy it takes to manufacture a hamburger, shouldn’t we also care about how much energy it takes to make our wallet?

Is the leather of cacti biodegradable?

There will undoubtedly be a continuing search for the greenest and most sustainable leather substitute, but has the solution already been discovered? The newest invention to threaten the leather industry has arrived, and it looks and feels fantastic!

The use of organic plant-based materials by textile developers to create long-lasting, low-impact substitutes for leather is growing in popularity. Therefore, allow us to introduce Desserto, a cutting-edge vegan leather product manufactured from cactus leaves, a raw material that grows abundantly with minimal water.

Cactus Leather by Desserto, which is grown and produced in Mexico, is a sustainable and environmentally beneficial alternative to animal leather that is also partially biodegradable.

How do you make cactus leather?

It’s a wise inquiry. Either the plant’s fresh, young leaves or its older leaves are used in the production of cactus leather. In the case of Desserto, they make use of the tender prickly pear cactus leaves. These leaves are taken from cactus plants that have been grown organically, washed, crushed, and then dried in the sun for three days before being used.

The flat-stemmed prickly pear, commonly known as nopal, is a thorny cactus that thrives mostly in hot, arid areas. It grows well in rocky and sandy environments and needs very little water. In reality, during the hot and dry summer, watering is only required once every two to three weeks.

You can also consume the cactus fruit, popularly known as “prickly pears.” They can be eaten straight off the plant and are quite sweet. This cactus’ fruit is reported to have a variety of nutritional and health advantages.

The mother plant of the cactus is not harmed or has its growth stunted when the new leaves are removed. Desserto is made from these tender young leaves, and within a few months the plant regenerates and sprouts new leaves.

Is Cactus leather sustainable?

Material made from cacti is very sustainable. Because cacti can grow and flourish in arid environments without irrigation, they consume a lot less natural resources overall. It would be difficult to argue in favor of animal leather when you consider the methods for collecting the raw materials, the energy and water use. Also consider the absence of chemicals. Desserto has a 10 year lifespan and is created without any harmful chemicals, phthalates, or PVC.

How can cactus leather reduce the impact of fashion?

The objective is that materials like this new Cactus Leather will replace the use of animal leather in fashion, automobile, aerospace, and footwear given the emphasis on biodiversity and the urgent need to lessen the worldwide devastation caused by the fashion industry.

What can you make with cactus leather?

The material can be applied to a variety of things, including upholstery, cars, clothing, shoes, and purses. Actually, the material can be utilized for anything that would normally need raw animal hides.

Unsurprisingly, Desserto has already received a prestigious international prize. In order to win the VII International Green Product Award in Munich, Germany, founders and developers Adrin Lpez Velarde and Marte Czarez outcompeted more than 1,400 nominees from 52 different nations.

  • About 3 cactus leaves are required to produce 1 linear meter of Desserto.
  • Without causing any harm to the plant, the mature leaves are cut and used. This makes it possible to reap the same plants again every 6 to 8 months.
  • Cactus is a hardy and adaptable plant that can endure harsh conditions and flourish in places where nothing else can.
  • Cacti can even thrive in soil that has been extensively degraded and is unsuitable for other crops.
  • One kilogram of cactus biomass can be grown with only 200 liters of water. The humidity in the air naturally causes the plants to absorb this water.