With so many alternatives to leather popping up, it’s becoming difficult to justify the raising of cattle just to slaughter them and wrap their skin around our bodies, or turn it into accessories. Enter the latest in faux leather technology: cactus leather.

Two entrepreneurs out of Mexico, Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez have unveiled what they call the Desserto.

Let’s be honest, some “vegan leather” or “faux leather” alternatives just don”t hold up the way real leather does. However, all that has changed thanks to Desserto cactus leather. It is not only sustainable and cruelty-free, but it weathers quite a bit wear and tear.

As mentioned earlier, Desserto is made out of cactus, specifically the prickly pear cactus. This makes this faux leather a plant-based, sustainable, and vegan alternative that looks and feels like the real thing. It’s highlighted by the softness it has, while performing and complying with rigorous quality standards.

deserto cactus leather

What makes this leather alternative even better is that there aren’t even any toxic chemicals, phthalates, or PVC. A lot of the “vegan leather” alternatives out there use plastics, which lead to a whole other discussion. However, Desserto does not involve any petroleum-based products at all. Unlike plastic, this cactus leather is even partially biodegradable! It also features the technical specs that the fashion, automotive, leather goods, and furniture industries have. That is HUGE, since it means it can actually be a true non-plastic leather alternative.

As the video below mentions, the fashion industry is the world’s second-largest polluter in the world. With leather being a staple in the fashion industry, it requires a lot of cows to be slaughtered. However, before that step occurs, those cows need to eat and drink…a lot. In fact, they need to drink up to 1,800 gallons of water a year! Then, the tanning process itself requires even more water, and is filled with toxic chemicals. This is not sustainable or environmentally-friendly. The 100 million tons of waste the fashion industry creates is far too much, which is why Desserto is a glimmer of hope that is now a reality.

Raising the bar even higher, this vegan leather is organic as well. It’s flexible, breathable, and durable for at least 10 years. You can finally wear a leather jacket that you won’t feel bad about.

Desserto has also been shown off at the International Leather Fair Lineapelle in Milan, Italy. Now, Adrián and Marte had starting to work with major groups in various industries so that this cactus leather can start being used in the real world.