Vegan Cactus Leather Is the Latest Eco-Friendly Fabric

David Suzuki once said, “In a world of more than seven billion people, each of us is a drop in the bucket. But with enough drops, we can fill any bucket.” Although it is hard to imagine what we as individuals can do to help our environment, changes in the way you live your life — both big and small — can have a huge impact. Whether you adopt clutter-free existence, become increasingly intentional with what you bring into your life, make your own eco-friendly laundry cleaners, or recycle trash religiously, every bit helps.

Some brilliant people take a further step forward and find themselves at the forefront of the environment-saving mission. Today, we are tremendously excited to share a story of two entrepreneurs hailing from Mexico, Adrian Lopez Velarde and Marte Cazarez, who have developed the latest eco-friendly fabric — cactus leather.

Leather Made from a Cactus

To create a cruelty-free and eco-friendly alternative to animal leather, Adrian and Marte developed vegan leather made with cactus. In 2019, After two years of research and development, they showcased the finished product under the trade name Desserto®. Its sustainability, performance, and aesthetics meet and exceed all expectations.

Businessmen started brainstorming ideas when working in the furniture and automotive, and fashion industries, respectively. There they saw first-hand that the environmental pollution problem was much more far-reaching than they thought it was. Hence, they became determined to reduce their environmental footprint and decided to leave their jobs and start Adriano Di Marti, a company to focus on developing Desserto®.

Why cactus? Firstly, it requires little water and it can tolerate temperatures well below zero. Secondly, it is adaptable, resilient, and long-lasting. Plus, in Mexico, you can find cacti everywhere throughout the country. Adrian and Marte grow theirs on a ranch in Zacatecas, northwest of Mexico City.

Their agricultural team collects mature leaves two times per year. They clean them and sun-dry them for 72 hours until they reach the appropriate humidity level. The natural tanning process does not require any additional power sources.

Desserto® comes in as wide an assortment as real leather — it can have different colors and textures. Moreover, it is flexible, breathable, and buttery smooth.

Do you like the idea of using vegan cactus leather to reduce your environmental impact? Would you want your shoes, clothing, or purse made out of it? Please share your thoughts in the comments — we would love to know!


I am an English major with a love of languages and fiction, and with an incurable travel bug. In my free time, I read fantasy, drink copious amounts of coffee, and like to go see movies. Culinary art means everything to me. My main hypostasis is the taster, though. The music school has taught me to appreciate the symphony of airy meringues, to create harmonious overtures of light snacks, hard rock of meat, fish, and vegetables on the grill. Choir classes have accustomed me to hear and feel the people nearby and create perfect harmonies of sounds.

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