Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez are the founders of Desserto®. which was first presented in Milan, Italy in 2019. Adrian and Marte's approach was to develop an animal-free leather alternative. Due to the local conditions in Mexico, the cactus naturally presented itself as a plant source.
Currently there are two product lines. On the one hand, Desserto® as a plant-based material for fashion applications, and on the other hand Desserttex® as a counterpart for industrial targets such as the automotive industry.
Applications of Desserto®
According to the company, the cactus leather alternative can and is used in handbags, shoes, clothing, interior design, sports equipment, as well as in the automotive industry.
At Louis Lucano, we are currently designing a cactus leather handbag, but it will not be released until 2023 at the earliest.
Material characteristics of Desserto®
Compared to some other animal-free leather alternatives, the Cactus leather from Desserto®, offers very robust properties.
Desserto® offers high resistance to abrasion, rubbing, tearing, tensile and a great durability. In addition, Desserto® is very good at withstanding moisture and liquids, which is a great advantage to animal leather as well, as it can suffer cracking and damage from moisture under improper handling or storage.
How Desserto® is made
At their ranch in the state of Zacatecas, México. Adrián and Marte grow their own cacti and harvest the ripe leaves every 6-8 months. With this method, the cactus farm can maintain the plant population and use only the most necessary for production.
Interestingly, the farm requires relatively few external resources. The cacti are raised by rainwater and minerals of the existing soil, in addition, the cactus variety Nopal is a very resilient.
The harvested leaves, are dried in the sun for about 3 days to achieve a suitable material property for further processing.
Why we use Desserto®
We are currently planning a collection with Desserto® as the main material, because on the one hand we really like the founding story of Adrián and Marte, and on the other hand, despite the fact that they are only young, they are already real role models in the context of sustainability.
The farm and production is operated maximally with the resources of the earth such as water, sun and soil. No chemicals or additives are used and the ecological footprint is unparalleled. The two founders have managed to create such a natural and sustainable environment that many parts of the fashion industry can take an example.