Mexican entrepreneurs designed vegan-leather- their cruelty-free, and animal-exclusive method creates quality leather from nopal, a type of cactus.
As our planet is under an increasing threat from global warming, both, consumers and manufacturers Are becoming aware of the growing need for environmentally-conscious products. The popularity of eco-friendly brands is on the rise, and experts hope that over time, we will all make this important switch.
All-natural products ensure safety from all dangerous chemicals, improve the quality of life in terms of mortality, age, diseases, and illnesses, and ensure the safety of families and the planet.
Yet, leather can be eco-friendly too! In the last decades, the textile industry has faced an important issue-activism over the production of leather from animal hides.
Although leather is used in the industry in various ways, and many claim that it is just a by-product of the food/meat industry, animal activists and conservationists fight to put an end to cruelty and advocate for alternative solutions to leather.
Therefore, scientists and researchers have come up with numerous alternatives to leather over the years, such as waxed canvas, pinatex, and leaf leather.
Yet, the product by two Mexican entrepreneurs seems to be able to fill in the big shoes perfectly!
To create an alternative that fits the fashion specifications for toxin-free products that may last up to 10 years, Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez, founders of Adriano Di Marti, created Desserto!
This vegan, cruelty-free, and animal-exclusive method creates quality leather from nopal, a type of cactus.
According to their website:
“Desserto is a highly sustainable plant-based vegan-leather made from cactus, often distinguished by its great softness at touch while offering a great performance for a wide variety of applications and complying with the most rigorous quality and environmental standards.
The aim is to offer a cruelty-free, sustainable alternative, without any toxic chemicals, phthalates, and PVC. The result, Desserto, the Cactus Vegan-Leather, is partially biodegradable and has the technical specifications required by the fashion, leather goods, furniture, and even automotive industries.”
The Desserto’s ranch is 100% organic and no herbicides or pesticides are used. Cactus leaves are harvested, left to dry out in the sun for 3 days, and then they are processed and incorporated into the patented Desserto.
The excess cactus left after production is packaged and sold to the food industry. The location of the ranch is in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico.
The two entrepreneurs aim at producing the vegan-leather without causing any damage to animals and plants. They cut the broad lives of cacti only, not to damage the tree or the root, and after 6-8 months, they harvest the leaves again.
As cactus is perennial, they only have to plant once in 8 years, but they tend to cultivate more trees in the area as frequently as possible. In this way, they also enrich the soil with microflora and microfauna.
They have not cut down any trees for the production of Desserto so far. Desserto leather is only partially biodegradable and has a durability of at least 10 years. The company is already conducting sales of the vegan-leather, so you might soon purchase your new leather purse made of 100% cactus!
The Desserto products were showcased at the International Leather Fair, Lineapelle in October 2019, held in Milan, Italy, and the company received massive recognition. Big names across several leather-consuming industries showed their interest in Desserto.
Adrián López Velarde, the Vice President of Adriano Di Marti explained the idea behind it all:
“I had the idea after working first in the furniture and later in the automotive industry and Marte Cázarez in the fashion industry, where we identified that the problem of environmental pollution was serious.
As a result, we were genuinely interested in reducing environmental impact, so we decided to leave our jobs and start Adriano Di Marti, a company to focus on developing Desserto, which nowadays is known as cactus or nopal vegan leather.
After two years of research and development we managed to produce a suitable material that complies with the features and technical/mechanical specifications required by those industries that use animal or synthetic leather; also, thanks to its organic composition, it is breathable, which makes cactus or nopal vegan leather similar to animal leather.”
When it comes to manufacturers interested in using Desserto, he added:
“As our material is highly sustainable and cost-competitive, and it complies with required specifications, it is an alternative that offers a win-win scenario.
They will not only benefit from developing a high-quality, sustainable range, but they will also have a competitive edge: they will contribute to caring for the environment and they will meet the growing end-consumers’ demand of using environmentally friendly materials.”