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Contxto – Mexico is typically thought of as a place filled with cacti and perhaps a guy in a sombrero sleeping in the shade of these prickly plants. But two Mexican entrepreneurs rather than fight the stereotype, are embracing it to bring an eco-friendly and vegan textile into the world: cactus leather they’ve christened Desserto.
Warning: No animals were harmed in the making of this text.
The noble nopal, fashionable and eco-friendly
Organic, soft, partially biodegradable, plastic-free and (my favorite) cruelty-free.
These are just some of the terms associated with emerging Desserto’s cactus-based leather.
Made from the nopal cactus, this textile may mark the future of vegan leather. As it’s been a hit since it was presented last October in the Feria Lineappelle, a major leather fair held in Milan, Italy.
And based on the commentary Desserto received at the event, there’s more to come.
“An expert at Lineapelle said that our cactus leather is most appropriate for use in the luxury segment thanks to its flexibility, softness, touch, and color,” said Adrián López, one of the minds behind Desserto.
Not to mention that Vogue in Australia reported it was the talk of the town at Raw Assembly, the country’s biggest sustainable textile event for the fashion industry.
Innovation meets fashion
The inspiration to develop this unique textile arose between Adrian López and Marte Cázarez. This pair of Mexicans shared an interest in business development but also wanted to help the environment.
It took two years to develop this cactus leather to its current state. However, the founders report it now complies with the traditional standards of leather-consuming industries.
This unique fabric is just one of Adriano Di Marti’s products, the company López and Cázares founded. And the entrepreneurial duo aims to continue innovating and help those industries in need of going green.
And, what better way to do so than by providing a biodegradable raw material to some of the world’s most polluting industries? Looking at you car and furniture manufacturing, and you as well fashion.
The Brits at Piñatex are making synthetic leather using pineapple leaves. Peruvian Le Qara does so with plant and fruit-based residues. But for me, this startup shines in creating something extraordinary from a stereotype. And as a wise man once said…
Armor made from the humble nopal… gotta love it!