Although today, more than in the past, there is a better awareness regarding genuine leather clothing and the impact of its production on nature as well as on the lives of many animals, this textile sector is still booming, with all the consequences that imply.
This is why it is always good to be able to find ecological alternatives with a low impact on the environment, and the one we are going to talk about seems to be a good solution. The idea germinated in the minds of two young Mexican entrepreneurs, whose goal was as simple as it was ambitious: to create a material similar to leather in all respects, but meeting ecological standards. What was the great idea? Use the cactus .
image credit: desserto.pelle / Instagram
At first, glance, talking about cactus leather may seem strange, almost insane. And yet, the eco-leather created by Adrian Lopez Velarde and Marte Cazarez is almost indistinguishable from real leather. His name is Dessert, and the name is certainly not accidental. It is indeed in the desert expanses of their country that cacti grow in abundance, characterizing the landscape and resistant to the most extreme climates thanks to their hard, thick, and rough “bark”.
These are all ideal characteristics for recreating the robustness of leather in textiles. This is how Dessert was born, a material of 100% natural and non-animal origin, obtained from plants grown in specific plantations in the Mexican state of Zacatecas. “Cacti don’t need water to grow, and there are plenty of them in nature,” said Velarde, “symbolically, it represents all Mexicans.”
With a plantation of over 2 hectares, which will expand much more in the future, Desserto’s potential is truly remarkable. The leaves of organically grown cacti, once mature, are cut, cleaned, crushed, dried, then treated and tinted according to their use. According to the company, this natural material can withstand regular use for about 10 years .
Since its introduction to the market, Dessert has been highly regarded by producers and consumers. So much so that its inventors are engaged in various expansion projects, aiming for a more and more extensive presence.
image credit: Desserto/Facebook
It is almost unnecessary to dwell on the positive impact that such a material can have on the environment, as well as on the welfare, life, and health of a large number of animals.
Unlike other synthetic leathers, Dessert does not contain any trace of plastic and is therefore biodegradable without negative consequences for ecosystems that are already suffering from everything that man pours on them. In short, this is a very promising alternative, which could soon become more widespread than we think: we can only hope!