Is Cactus Leather Real ?
Believe it or not, cactus textile is real !!
Desserto is a highly sustainable fashion vegan-textile that is made from cactus. Cactus based vegan-textile can easily be distinguished due to its extra smoothness and soft to touch material. This highly sustainable plant-based vegan-textile has premium quality and fulfils environmental standards.
Vegan textile was developed by two Mexicans named Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez. They both came with this idea while working in entirely different industries that are the automotive and fashion industries. While observing the environmental impact in both industries, they aimed to make this vegan material which has many environmentally friendly qualities that are cruel-free and alternative to other sustainable textiles.
Many fashion brands are working in the market in making trendy and classy vegan textile goods that are animal-free but the drawback is that most of these brands use plastic-deprived materials to achieve the desired material look. People thought textile alternatives as cheap fakes and ignore to make their preference over original textile but due to the new trendy production of vegan textile products are setting a high benchmark by providing sustainable fashion and eco-friendly, cruelty-free material people are now interested in purchasing Desserto, a cactus leather-like material.
Two people from Mexico took that drawback their challenge and create a new brand called Desserto. The purpose of Desserto is to make brand new vegan textile products from nopal cactus leaves into all-natural and organic textile. Desserto is considered a pioneer in the cactus based material on the market that has the potential to make vegan textile industries eco-friendly and sustainable while producing cruelty-free leather.
A few years back, people used to considered faux textile, pleather, vinyl, or polyvinylchloride (PVC) as a pretty bad rap but now materials science engineers and fashion designers have scrambled to come up with desserto vegan textile as alternatives and people are quite interested in buying and purchasing these products. These two Mexican entrepreneurs think desserto textile as the best textile substitute from Opuntia cactus which is also known as prickly pear.
The agricultural team of Desserto harvests the prickly pears on a ranch in Zacatecas which is the Northwest of Mexico City. Team harvest prickly pears every 6 to 8 months and selects only the mature and expending leaves from the cactus plants for processing. Prickly pears are plants that grow 5 feet tall and their width is about 10-15 feet. The best part of this innovation is that these plants live for about 10 to 20 years and no irrigation systems are required as we know that cacti are perennials that can grow healthy with earth minerals found in the area and rainwater easily. An agricultural team can plant once and get benefits for about 8 years so Velarde and Cázares don’t use any irrigation systems for their plants.
After collecting the mature leaves of cacti, the team let them dry under the sunlight for 3 days until they achieve the required level of humidity. This is a natural tanning process that is without any toxic chemicals, PVC and phthalates therefore no excess power sources are necessary.
Opuntia cacti require only 200 litres of water to produce one kilogram for making textile from these dry material. If we compare this amount with corn etc. they use 1000 litres of water to produce one kilogram. 2000 gallons of water is used to produce one pair of leather shoes while keeping this vast difference in mind Velarde and Cázarez are planning to produce purse, shoes and even clothing from their cactus textile by commercializing in the luxury fashion industry.
The project of Velarde and Cázarez is in the stage of research and development but the European market is ready to invest heavily in this vegan cactus textile after observing the great feedback from International Leather Fair Lineapelle in Milan.
The desserto cactus vegan material is eco-friendly as it is partially biodegradable. The use of this leather will reduce harm to cows and other animals because cows and other animals were forced to drink maximum water for getting good quality leather from them. Fashion experts are taking interest in cactus leather for its buttery smooth texture and flexibility. The other reason is organic vegan leather can last up to ten years with a smooth texture. It is flexible, breathable and gets fewer stains.
Due to technical specifications required by leather goods, furniture, fashion and automotive industries, Velarde and Cázarez are in contact with high-profile companies for collaborations with their Brand Desserto created by their company Andriano Di Marti.
CED (MJ) CUMULATIVE ENERGY DEMAND
Desserto® saves 878.26% CED (MJ) compared to animal leather, and 78.96% compared to polyurethane (PU).
GHG CARBON (KGCO2EQ.)
Desserto® saves 1,864.02% Greenhouse Gas Emissions compared to animal leather, and 77.69% compared to polyurethane (PU).
EUTROPHICATION (KGPO4 3-EQ.)
Desserto® saves 500% Eutrophication impact compared to animal leather, and 100% compared to polyurethane (PU).
WATER USE (M3)
Desserto® saves 164,650% of water compared to animal leather, and 190% compared to polyurethane (PU).
GHG CARBON WITH WASTE INCINERATION (KGCO2EQ.)
If incinerated, Desserto® saves 1,416.66% Greenhouse Gas Emissions compared to animal leather, and 90.55% compared to polyurethane (PU)