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Most people do not realise the impact that leather processing has on the environment and how unsustainable it is. Aside from the fact that uses animal hide for our own gain, either being worn or used by humans, it uses highly toxic dies to colour it that is ultimately being emptied into our waterways and killing our marine life.
However, the game is about to be changed now that two men have succeeded in developing an alternative to animal leather made out of Mexican cactus—and it could save millions of animals worldwide.
Entrepreneurs, Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez, realized the environmental impact of animal leather spending years working in the furniture, automotive, and fashion industries. Upon quitting their jobs, they co-founded Adriano Di Marti to find an innovative leather replacement.
They created their vegan fabric out of the nopal cactus and spent two years researching and developing their design. They then perfected the manufacturing process in July 2019 and unveiled the fabric to the fashion world in Milan, Italy in October 2019. Pretty impressive right?!
Their “Desserto” fabric is made out of cactus leaves that are sustainably harvested every 6 to 8 months. The material is designed to breathe easily while still being durable and even partially biodegradable.
As it’s a cactus-based material it requires a minimal amount of water to develop and is grown organically in the Mexican state of Zacatecas. The material, which is available in a variety of colors produced using natural dyes, has now been used to make everything from bags and automotive seating to shoes and jackets.
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