The idea of a bag made of cactus can sound a bit farfetched to some, but two entrepreneurs, Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez, have successfully developed and showcased, at the International Leather Fair Lineapelle 2019, their vegan leather material. Made with cactus, the alternative to animal leather caught the attention of those attending the event last month in Milan, Italy. Named Desserto, the great thing about the high resistance vegan cactus leather is that it has the kind of blueprint that will appeal to the fashion, interior and car industries.
Getting To Know The Cruelty-free and Cost-competitive Leather
With the support of technologies and innovations, it took Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez, both from Mexico, two years of research and effort, to be able to present a marketable product at the Milan tradeshow. With the durability of around ten years, the cactus leather’s basic features, elasticity, customizable and breathable, are similar to those of animal or synthetic leather. The features are complemented by earth-friendly traits that include being partially biodegradable and having no toxic chemicals, phthalates and PVC.
The cruelty-free, cost-competitive material has been designed and developed to meet the most rigorous standards from the Aeronautic to the Fashion industries. When it comes to challenges the creators faced producing the sustainable alternative, they told FashionUnited (UK): “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.”
As for the positive impact that the cactus leather brings to the table Velarde and Cázarez told FashionUnited (UK): “The positive impact on the environment that our materials can have if incorporated into major lines of the different industries mentioned before may result in a 32 to 42 per cent reduction in plastic waste, depending on the version of our materials that are incorporated, and about 20 per cent savings in water consumption.”
Adding: “Currently, the volume used by the fashion industry alone is huge, almost 79 billion cubic meters, which is enough to fill almost 32 million Olympic-size swimming pools. If you assess the value for the world economy of the additional 39 billion cubic meters expected to be used annually by 2030, the result is 32 billion euro at stake yearly. This is the potential benefit for the world economy if the fashion industry can find ways to prevent water consumption from increasing further.”
As end-consumers continue to demand that their products be made out of environmentally friendly materials, it looks like Velarde and Cázarez’s determination to be the company that does things a little differently could mean that the duo have launched Desserto at the right time, a time when the fashion industry is open to having a conversation.