Introducing Desserto Cactus Leather
Finally, clever people in clever places have discovered a way to make plant-based leather.
Recently, during a semi-grueling brand pitch, we were referred to as 'the beyond meat of handbags' and we blushed with pride. This is precisely what we set out to achieve - a handbag that resembles it's leather counterpart but doesn't cause harm to the planet, it's people or animals.
To us, this was the Holy Grail. We believed it was possible but technology hadn't quite caught up to our ideals. During our inception, the innovators of Piñatex released the first 'plant-based leather' alternative made from Pineapple Leaves and it blew everyone's mind. We were thrilled to be given permission to work with these pioneers and built our first two collections using this incredible textile.
We could see the world changing as we ploughed on with the arrival of Apple Leather, Grape Leather and Cork Leather but none really tickled our fancy until we met Adrian and Marti of Desserto. Their calm happy nature, generous and genuine outlook on Grassroots brands and their intention to combat climate change spoke volumes to us and before you knew it - we had their samples in our hot little hands and were literally speechless at the finesse.
Finally, the materials we had only dreamed of were made available to us. So without further ado, we bring you the inside word on Desserto Cactus Leather and why we at A_C Official are so. damn. grateful to share this moment in time with change agents like these two.
The sustainable leather alternative is derived from the cactus plant ‘Nopal’ or ‘Prickly Pear’ as it’s most commonly known. Harvested from their Mexican Cactus ranch, the innovators are able to avoid soil degradation as plants are not removed from the ground and only the mature stems are used in the Textile’s Raw Materials. The plantation regrows quickly with rainwater only, taking 6-8 weeks to be ready for harvest again, before cuttings are transported to their Textile Facility to be made into the patented a bio-based Leather Alternative.
In order to create 1sqm of Cactus leather, 200L of rainwater is required... compare that to 1kg of Animal leather which requires 17000L of water and you can see why we're jumping for joy..
"In our 14 acres of cactus that is currently used for Desserto, we absorb 8,100 tons of CO2 per year, and we only generate 15.3 tons of CO2 per year at the farm which includes diesel for tractors and electricity for processing it into our cactus feedstock that then has to be transformed in the factory.
Cactus plantations are carbon sinks, their sequestration capacity is huge." Adrian Lopez Velarde, Desserto Founder
Now compare this with the 14kgs of Carbon required to create 1 square metre of Polyurethane the impact is undeniable.
We are so excited to introduce this textile to you, our A_C Community.
We are the first brand in Australia to be working with Desserto, which only launched in October 2019 and has subsequently won numerous Design Awards. Recently, the innovators were named Finalists in the LVMH Innovation Awards and won the Innovation award by Samsung and Architectural Digest Mexico. Lagerfield House has announced they are working with the textile as are a number of other enviable fashion houses so you know we're onto something pretty damn special.
Shop our latest collection titled Raison D'être made from Desserto Cactus Leather here.