No need to double take, you read that correctly, cactus leather is the latest new material on the fashion scene. Forget those vegan leathers that use so much plastic they make Barbie look real, cactus leather is here to steal the spotlight.

You may have already seen the viral videos popping up on your feed showing Mexican brand Desserto and their ‘organic, all-natural, cruelty-free’ leather. They’re the first on the market with this product and lets face it – it looks so real. They state that the product is ‘The perfect balance between sustainability and performance’, and the product can be used for fashion, leather goods, furniture and even automotive industries.

Via Desserto Instagram

The cactuses are grown in the state of Zacatecas on a ranch; they grow with rain water and earth minerals – no water irrigation system insight. Only the mature leaves of the plant are harvested so the cactuses are not harmed, this is done every 6-8 months. Desserto states ‘At the farm, we haven’t cut down any trees, opposite to that, as we plant a native cactus from the region the plantations match biodiversity and blends with wild flora. Being our plantation fully organic there is no harm to the biodiversity’ showing their incredibly sustainable business model.

Desserto sells their materials by the meter in various colours; these include the cactus-like green, red, beige and black. Products seem to still be in the testing process, but beautiful images are emerging of prototypes of vibrant green bags and black purses that could be genuine leather! 

Via Desserto Instagram

Creators Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez have displayed their work at many events to advertise this new and innovative method. Events such as International LeatherFair Lineapelle 2019 and Raw Assenbly in Australia. There is constant interest in new materials, and especially vegan ones as ‘The vegan leather market is set to take over the animal leather market by 2025, by this time it is set to be worth nearly $90billion’ as reported on The Vegan Society. Once again, the fashion industry seems to be heading in a very ethical direction.

Via Desserto Instagram

As designers and scientists band together to create these impressive and cruelty free alternatives, it begs the question will traditional leather one day be obsolete? Who knows, but for now keep an eye out for more alternatives coming onto the scene!

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Aug 4, 2020

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