Cactus Leather Will Save 1 Billion Animals Killed for Fashion!

Cactus leather- a strange name if you hear it for the first time as we all are habituated with animal leather. Astonishing to hear or not, this cactus leather is going to save one billion animals killed for fashion as an alternative to animal leather. What a boon for the animal lovers! If you want to know how cactus leather is going to save the animals, this article is for you!

Cactus Leather- why is it needed?

Leather is one of the most known material to the common people. It is part of a booming $80 billion industry. But leathers are much problematic because of using animal products & harmful chemicals with it.

And if we come to the fashion industry, then we can easily notice that the fashion industry is the 2nd largest polluter in the world! And leather is a staple in the fashion industry.

Additionally, a quote can be included- “The global leather industry kills more than a billion animals for their skin & hides”-PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

Again, to get leathers from animals, the treatment process involves tonnes of chemicals. This process is not only harmful for the environment but also creates non biodegradable leather products. Almost in most of the industries, leather comes from a cow & the cow has to drink up to 1800 gallons/yr.

The story doesn’t end here! In the tanning process of leather, it needs more water. Overall, this process creates 100,000,000 tons of wastes in the fashion industry. So, these kinds of problems should be maneuvered sincerely. And it’s a matter of great success that it’s not a problem moreover. Because two entrepreneurs from Mexico named Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez have invented the method of metamorphosing Cactus into vegan leathers which was named “DESSERTO”.

These two people achieved this result after much brainstorming, mental stress & physical efforts. And it is marvelous & can be said that it has been designed to bring a change in the world of leather.

Cactus is available everywhere in Mexico & it is eco-friendly. Desserto is made from cacti grown in the Mexican state of the Zacatecas.

How Desserto made cactus leather?

Someone may ask in this process much cactus is needed. Then it may be harmful for the plants.You may ask to have an alternative process for saving animals, won’t the process be harmful to the plants? Then friends, relax! Cutting cactus is just like a haircut.


At first, they select mature leaves of cactus without embezzlement of the cactus plant & do a new harvest every 6 to 8 months. After cutting mature leaves for 3 days they dry them under the sun to achieve the perfect humidity level as per need.

Then organic raw materials are needed. After drying, organic raw materials are processed & mixed with some non-toxic chemicals which are eco-friendly to the environment. Then it is shaped into any texture & different colored leathers can be gotten. In this process, no pesticides or herbicides are used. Another matter of pleasure that in this process, irrigation is not needed as the cacti grow perfectly as per need with rain water and earth minerals are easily found in the area.

Now, a question can be asked that can we use anything else alternative to cactus for bringing a change in the world of leather. Then the below points are the answers of your curious question peeking in your mind.

Benefits of Using Cactus to Produce Vegan Leathers:

  1. This vegan leathers aims to create a sustainable & cruelty free environment.

2. Can save the world from the dangerous toxic chemicals which are harmful to both the animals & all over human beings.

3. These types of leathers absorb Carbon-di-oxide which is a great sign of saving the world from global warming & thus it can be said this process is a current need of today!!

4. It’s breathable, flexible & comfortable to the skin.

5. It doesn’t stain, works up to 10 years.

6. The cacti leather is partially biodegradable.

7. During the manufacturing process less cows as well as animals are harmed.

8. Cactus has rugged & thick skin which makes the desired texture to forge animal leather.

9. Cactus doesn’t need water to grow up which is much beneficial especially in deserts.

10. Billions of animals killed for fashion can be saved through this process.

11. This leather is durable, high quality, soft & organic!

12. In this process, it doesn’t contain any plastic which is a good sign for the environment.

13. Cactus leather’s price is much less than animal leathers. And with it you can make cactus leather shoes, cactus leather bags, wallets, belts, jackets, etc.

So, the benefits are many & it should be grabbed as soon as possible. Moreover this cacti leather can be used like regular leathers.This desserto can also be used to make accessories, clothing, furniture, and even car interiors.

Additional information on Desserto, the cactus leather innovators!

Consulting services

Desserto is providing consulting services to brands addressing design, applications, and sustainability along their value chain.

Desserto gives keynote speeches

Desserto provides speeches about their experience creating a successful brand encircling Cactus Leather and having a positive impact in the fashion industry as a disruptive sustainable innovation force.

Desserto provides student services

As an extended courtesy to support young talents, upon limited project submissions per month, Desserto provides:

  • Access to their standard material selection with no minimums.
  • 1 swatch-book per request which is free of charge. Only courier fee will apply.
  • They provide additional support.
  • All the supports can be accessed only with valid student ID


Desserto has attracted everyone’s eyes in International Leather Fair Lineapelle 2019 in Milan, Italy. If Desserto’s cactus leather making process and the sustainable products can be used broadly, we can hope to have a sustainable environment & can live peacefully and sustainably.


Nashita Ahmed

Dept.Environmental Science & Engineering,

Bangladesh University of Textiles



As you have read this article, you might be interested to read this too!

Sustainable Fashion & Environmental Impact

You can also read another article of the same author: Textile Recycling: Reducing Waste and Promoting Circular Economy