Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez executed a fantastic idea that is a “dream” for the vegan community and beyond. The pair met in Taiwan 9 years ago, where they were studying and later they met again in Mexico to start the incredible project to produce leather from Cacti.
They started their venture back in 2018, and after a couple of tough years, they managed to finally achieve their goal. The leather that they produce is not only as good as the “real one,” but it also looks the same.
The benefit for the environment and the animals
Of course, the benefit for the environment and the animals is great. As per People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) 70% of the deforestation in of the Amazon rainforest has been created to create pastures or to grow feeding crops for livestock. In addition, the tanning of leather is also using toxic products detrimental to the environment. On the other side, hour 2 “heroes” use a natural harvesting process that involves no chemicals.
As per Adrian’s words, this is the process:
“Here in México, in the state of Zacatecas, we have a ranch where we grow our raw material: cactus. At the ranch, we select and cut only the mature leaves of the plant without damaging the cactus itself, so every six to eight months we will collect a new harvest.
We do not use an irrigation system for the cactus, it grows with rainwater and the earth minerals which are rich in Zacatecas and great for the variety of cactus that we plant. The selected cactus is very resilient and strong, it can handle low temperatures during winter without dying and its thorns are very small so it’s easier and safer for our agriculture team to harvest.
Within the ranch, after cutting the mature leaves, we dry them under the sun for three days until achieving the exact humidity levels that we seek. So, there’s no oven or additional energy used (like gas) in this drying process. Then we process the organic raw material to make it part of our patented formula, which allows us to make the Cactus Vegan-Leather which we call DESSERTO.”
The pair is also planning to produce lines of shoes, handbags, and accessories. Finally, we can buy nice leather items knowing that no animal was killed in the process!
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