Desserto is a highly sustainable plant-based vegan-leather made from cactus.
This is the first time a Mexican company has won the MCFW 2020 Sustainability Awards for its contribution to fashion sustainability: Desserto, the world’s first cactus vegan leather.
With the purpose of creating an alternative to animal leather, Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez, both hailing from Mexico, developed vegan leather made with nopal (a cactus), which they successfully showcased last October 2019 in Milan, Italy.
The aim is to offer cruelty free, sustainable alternative, without any toxic chemicals, phthalates and PVC. The result is a beautiful product with great softness at touch while offering a diverse performance for a wide variety of applications and complying with the most rigorous quality and environmental standards. It’s partially biodegradable and has the technical specifications required by the fashion, leather goods, furniture and even automotive industries.
After two years of research and development, the creators could finally finish marketable cactus leather in July 2019. Its trade name is Desserto, and it has competitive features compared to animal or synthetic leather, like sustainability, resistance, being fully customizable and breathable.
‘Your next statement handbag could be made from a cactus plant and feature eco-sequins made of algae’
At Raw Assembly, Australia’s first sustainable fabric sourcing event for the fashion industry, the most buzz was around Desserto, “They literally launched it a couple of weeks ago,” says founder Thea Speechley, “so it’s pretty cool to have it here in Australia first.” Kit Willow was beside herself.
The top 10 sustainable facts of Desserto’s organic cactus feedstock:
- Biodiversity amelioration in the region.
- Reverts Land Use Change (LUC).
- Enrichment of soil micro-flora and micro-fauna through native and typical organic cactus afforestation.
- Huge savings in water as no irrigation is applied.
- Environmental preservation as no chemicals are used like herbicides or pesticides.
- Cactus is left unharmed to enable repeated harvesting from the same plant.
- Energy savings by drying the feed-stock in a solarium.
- No cross-industry conflict as the byproduct is directed to the food industry in an increased value form which is more attractive, and stimulates the agricultural sector to plant more cactus.
- Full vision and traceability of the farm to ensure sustainable social practices.
- Technological enhancements at the fields.